Pavel G. Chesnokov

Composer Alpha
Chesnokov, Pavel

Many composers have harmonized the famous Sofroniev hermitage chant melody for the Cherubic Hymn. In America at any rate, the Kastalsky arrangement is most commonly performed, but Pavel Chesnokov’s harmonization is every bit as deserving of performance.

In the original, the music is set in free rhythm, without barlines except those denoting the ends of phrases. For ease of performance, I have added barlines and an editorial time signature of 4/2 (though at the ends of many phrases there is a 2/2 measure).

Pavel Chesnokov is one of the big names in late 19th and early 20th century Russian liturgical music. Depending upon his mood, he might set something from an austere chant tradition or free-compose a deeply-layered choral masterpiece. In this instance he took a simple chant melody from the square-note service books and gave it a very simple setting for male chorus.