Saint Ephraim Male Choir: WINGS

FA 434-2
Fonó, 2019
Bar code: 5 998048 543427

 With this album, Saint Ephraim Male Choir, wishes to join the angels’ choir with their own unique voices and musical style. The title of the album evokes as the earthliest attribute of the immortal heavenly forces: their ‘wings’, with which they are able to take help wherever and whenever in the vast world. Sacral melodies from Africa, America, Asia and Europe, reverberate humanity’s response and gratitude: either through music evoking heartfelt emotions, jubilation, deep devotion, joyousness or religious fever, which we hope the angels and their Lord would also listen to with a cheery smile. As a matter of fact, to be closer to the certainty of pleasing the angels, we chose the Saint Angels Church in Gazdagrét, Budapest as the recording venue for the album. As for starting the recording, we went ahead a few days after November 8 which in the Eastern church is the Archangels’ Saint Michael and Gabriel’s, as well as all the heavenly forces’ largest festivity.


Saint John Chrysostom (344-407), Archbishop of Constantinople, ponders on angels in the following way: “It is our duty to praise the Angels, for they hymn the Creator, and entreat Him to impart goodness to men.” They are the mystical creatures in the Judeo-Christian history of redemption, who play an important role in other major religions as well and who are regarded as bodiless heavenly forces in Byzantine mythology and terminology. Monday is their remembrance day, the first day after the Lord’s, and so we remember them every Monday, calling upon them for help in our mortal lives.


The Bible mentions nine orders of the angel the most well known being the Cherubs and Seraphs who deliver the Lord’s messages to us mortals, look over us and help us, all whilst diligently going about their heavenly role: forever singing hymns to praise the Lord. One of the most important mystical parts of the Byzantine mass - The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, is the Cherubim Chant, or Cherubic Hymn which is sung when the holy bread and wine are placed on the altar. The lyrics are: “We who mystically represent the Cherubim, and who sing to the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn, let us now lay aside all earthly cares”.


This a very significant invitation, since without it, we cannot fully participate in the eternal liturgy and join the angels in singing; “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of thy glory; Hosanna in the highest: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest”.

You will hear songs on this album in English, Aramaic, Old Church Slavonic, Greek, Hindi, Latin, Hungarian, Galician Portuguese, Sotho, Sardinian, Serbian and Ukrainian.

In addition, three so-called bell prayers will also be heard. These bells are also used as instruments to call the devoted to prayer, as well as serving as interludes or to join sacral hymns. Saint Ephraim Male Choir uses these bells in all their concerts, having become something of a trademark to the choir.


Having performed in various local as well as international prestigious festivals and concert venues, Saint Ephraim Male Choir ’s unique sound became familiar to numerous contemporary composers, some of whom have written pieces specifically for the group. There are no concerts these days, where at least one such piece is not performed.


The permanent group of 8 singers, each of who have a unique and seasoned voice as well as being trained chamber musicians, perform regularly in Hungary and internationally as well as hosting an annual concert series named Orientale Lumen, since 2001, where internationally renowned guests are also invited to contribute. So far 10 albums have been released, some of which are compilations of the before mentioned concert series. Some of the members are aspiring composers themselves, often composing and rearranging pieces to expand the choir’s unique repertoire.


1. Kae Le Kae - sotho gospel - arranged by Mark Bubno
2. Tamás Bubnó: Psalm 127
3. Greek New Year Kalanda
4. Aboun d’bashmayo /The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic,  arranged by Tamás Bubnó
5. Grigory Lvovsky: Gospodi pomiluj / Lord have mercy
6-7. Shchedryk -  arranged by György Silló and György Philipp
8. Dormi Pizzinu - lullaby from Sardinia
9. Alfonso X el Sabio: Rosa Das Rosas
10. Alfonso X el Sabio: Santa Maria Amar
11. Trishagion from Mount Athos
12. Lőrinc Bubnó: Bell Prayer
13. László Sáry: Psalm canon
14. Let us worship, Christians - from the Gradual of Eperjes
15. Lőrinc Bubnó: Bell Prayer
16. Jan Levoslav Bella: Tu Es Petrus
17. Ragupathi Raghav Raja Ram - arranged by Mark Bubno
18. As I Went Down -  American folk melody - arranged by Mark Bubno

Saint Ephraim Male Choir
Artistic director: Tamás Bubnó
Members of the Choir: Tamás Bubnó, Kornél Pechan, Márk Bubnó, Edgár Balázs, Marcell Oláh, Bertalan Nagy, Péter Tóth, Lőrinc Bubnó


Production notes:
Recorded at Saint Angels Church in Gazdagrét, Budapest between 14-18 November 2018.
Recording engineer and music director: Mihály Kádár,

Supported by the National Cultural Fund and the Human Resources Ministry of Hungary.


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