Annunciation in Georgia (April 7th)

For the feast of the Annunciation, we sang the troparion “Today is the Crown,” the heirmos “Worthily Gabriel Announced” and many other chants. I was only able to capture our performance of the chant ghirsad gabriel (Worthily Gabriel Announced), however, so here it is:

 

 

This variant was recorded by master chanter Artem Erkomaishvili on cassette tape in 1966. It was transcribed into Western notation and published in 2006 by Davit Shugliashvili.

The troparion is rare. The text is set to Tone 4 melodies, that is, phrase-length melodic fragments that are uniquely assigned to the troparion genre, and Tone 4. These melodies are not sung in other tones, or other genres. As such, the melodies are well known to chanters, who sing dozens of texts to these same model melodies throughout the calendar year.

But the chant dghes tskhovrebisa, only performed for the feast of the Annunciation once per year, is not well known. Not many choirs sing it or have recorded it.

As a result, we decided to record it. Last year, the Yale Georgian Chant Group performed the variant recorded by Artem Erkomaishvili in 1966.

 

 

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