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[orthodox-synod] Re: Die Musik

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  • Steven Ritter
    Its taking place all over. At Ascension monastery in Resaca they often use the plain chants, at Jordanville they occasionally use them. There has been a
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 7, 1999
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      Its taking place all over. At Ascension monastery in Resaca they often use
      the plain chants, at Jordanville they occasionally use them. There has been
      a resurgence in the use of "early" harmonizations also, three and two part
      in some instances, with the use of "dissonant" harmonies, i.e. major and
      minor seconds, etc. There are many recordings now also that are displaying
      this early chant. Most people still fell uncomfortable with it, because they
      are so used to our operatic trivia that has been perpetrated as chant for so
      long. But hopefully, this will change.

      Fr. Steven

      TALLSCAPES@... wrote:

      > In a message dated 99-06-07 18:42:31 EDT, Fr. Steven wrote:
      >
      > << in some quarters efforts are being made to revive the old chants.>>
      >
      > Evlogeite!
      > Now that you have tantalized with this statement, please say more.
      > Peter Brandt-Sorheim
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    • LJames6034@aol.com
      There s a form of convert bashing going on. That won t do. This is a situation analogous to that one I addressed in The NY Review of Books when the
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 8, 1999
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        There's a form of "convert bashing" going on. That won't do.

        This is a situation analogous to that one I addressed in The NY Review of
        Books when the Countess Tolstoy, asserted that "worthy people," were not
        canonized, while the Tsar and the Royal Family were. I answered that
        30,000 others were "glorified," with Tsar Nicholas and his family.
        "Surely," I said, "among so many, there must be one or two whom Ms. Tolstoya
        would regard as 'worthy'?"

        Surely, among so many converts to Orthodoxy (roughly one-third of the clergy
        in the Antiochian Archdiocese used to be Episcopal ministers), there must be
        one of two of us who are not so enthralled by Russian culture that we have
        lost our senses? Huh?

        As I have observed on this List before: Perhaps we should restrict opinion
        and freedom of expression only to those of us who are the lineal descendants
        of the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal of the Holy Apostles? Only we
        should have a right to an opinion on anything. The rest of you are parvenus.

        But, seriously (I say that for you literalists): It is wrong, brothers and
        sisters, to suppose that any people forms a lump. Logically, that has to
        include converts, I think. Some of us could read and write, before we
        converted to Orthodoxy. We still can.

        But, thank you for your concern for our spiritual well-being. Pray for us,
        that we may become as humble and unassuming as some of you!


        Father Andrew

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      • Steven Ritter
        ... This is, of course, the great mystery. On the one hand, I would think that with all of the carefulness we pass on the faith with, that Byzantine Chant
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 8, 1999
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          don wiley wrote:

          >
          > Well and good. But, when Sts Cyrill and Methodios ventured into the Slavic
          > culture, what did they do? (It is an honest question - seeking information.)
          >
          > I know that they had to create had to create an alphabet so that the Divine
          > Services could be written into the language of the Slavs. Beyond that, I
          > know nothing, but I wonder - since they did not try to teach them the
          > Greek, did they insist on Byzantine chant? Or did they adopt the familiar
          > local melodies to the Orthodox hymns?
          >

          This is, of course, the great mystery. On the one hand, I would think that with all of the
          carefulness we pass on the faith with, that Byzantine Chant would have been passed on
          also, as it was in the other Slavic countries (and keep in mind that these Slavic
          countries never developed it into the same fine art the Greeks did--but they did retain
          the basic skeleton of the chant). But Russia may very well have been an exception, indeed
          was to a certain extent. The early Bulgarian singers that were brought into Russia had
          already used their not inconsiderable genius to match the Byzantine melodies to Slavonic.
          In this process, the original melodies, while still churchly and beautiful, also became
          modified, in some cases beyond recognition.

          While the Bulgarians kept closely to the Byzantine systen of echoi, the Russians never, as
          far as has been determined, ever adopted this system, substituting instead a system of
          melodic fragments or melodies, which we today know as the Znamenny chant. Early on this
          notation still closely modeled Byzantine notation, but changed in a relatively short time.
          The Znamenny was very difficult to realize, and required a specialist's skills not much
          different from the practitioner of Byzantine chant. Because of this, it later used a much
          simpler notation, eliminating embellishments that so distinguished the early chant. So we
          see that Russian chant did indeed have Byzantine roots, but took a separate route not long
          after being introduced. To me , real Russian music will always be the Znamenny chant, and
          the harmonized cotton candy later introduced has very little to do with the Byzantine
          (i.e. Orthodox) ethos of passionlessness and prayer. Yet God, as He so often does, puts up
          with our weaknesses, as He has in iconography and theology at various times in thes
          past--indeed, the present also.

          in Christ,
          Fr. Steven


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        • don wiley
          Father Steven Ritter wrote: snip to the end ... chants, more able to invoke the passionless state the fathers talk about, and abandon the emotion-laden music
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 8, 1999
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            Father Steven Ritter wrote:

            snip to the end

            > But then again, I believe the Church should go back to its ancient
            chants, >more able to invoke the passionless state the fathers talk about,
            and abandon >the emotion-laden music that has become the norm. I appreciate
            the beauty of >many of our western-influenced compositions, but I also
            appreciate Mozart, and >do not see the difference in the emotions they both
            invoke.


            I heard Dr Constantine Cavarnos speak the same thing, on a tape of an
            address to the Greek Church in Atlanta a couple of years ago. From perhaps
            failing memory, he was speaking to "What's are the Problems which The
            Orthodox Church faces in America today?" And as I recall, spoke to:

            --Ecumenism

            --Secularism

            ---Calendar

            And, almost as an afterthought, he spoke of the music. To the effect that
            the polyphony which had become common was inimical to true Orthodox
            worship. Well, I hated to hear that, because I like the Russian music.
            But, I also like a lot of things which may not be good for me.

            Father wrote:

            > However, most people are not concerned about this issue, and converts in
            >particular are often overwhelmed by the pretty Church music, so I would
            venture that it is here to stay, though in some quarters efforts are being
            made to revive the old chants.
            >
            Well and good. But, when Sts Cyrill and Methodios ventured into the Slavic
            culture, what did they do? (It is an honest question - seeking information.)

            I know that they had to create had to create an alphabet so that the Divine
            Services could be written into the language of the Slavs. Beyond that, I
            know nothing, but I wonder - since they did not try to teach them the
            Greek, did they insist on Byzantine chant? Or did they adopt the familiar
            local melodies to the Orthodox hymns?

            Thank you Father Steven, for your reply.

            Reader Athanasius
            St Nicholas - Fletcher, North Carolina


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          • Oleg Reoutt
            Gee, maybe you just have to be Russian to really appreciate Russian Orthodox music. From the joy at Easter or at a wedding to the majesty during the various
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 10, 1999
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              Gee, maybe you just have to be Russian to really appreciate Russian
              Orthodox music. From the joy at Easter or at a wedding to the majesty
              during the various feasts and the deeply touching passion week or
              funeral singing, give me Arhangelsky, Chesnokov, Kastalsky, Grechaninov,
              Turchaninov, Smolensky, Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Soloviev, Lvovsky,
              Lomakin, Allemanov, Ippolitov, Rimsky, Nikolsky, Zinoviev, Vinogradov,
              Lvov and countless others anytime.
              Oleg

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            • LJames6034@aol.com
              If one has to be Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music, does that mean one has to be Welsh in order to enjoy poetry? Just asking. Father Andrew ...
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 10, 1999
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                If one has to be Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music, does that mean one
                has to be Welsh in order to enjoy poetry?

                Just asking.


                Father Andrew

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              • Oleg Reoutt
                Was Pushkin (born June 6th 1799) Welsh? Oleg ... eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 10, 1999
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                  Was Pushkin (born June 6th 1799) Welsh?
                  Oleg

                  LJames6034@... wrote:
                  >
                  > If one has to be Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music, does that mean one
                  > has to be Welsh in order to enjoy poetry?
                  >
                  > Just asking.
                  >
                  > Father Andrew
                  >
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                • Rev. John R. Shaw
                  Be that as it may, it is a matter of history that in 1840 or so, when L vov s music was first sung in the Moscow Uspensky cathedral (cathedral of the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                    Be that as it may, it is a matter of history that in 1840 or so, when
                    L'vov's music was first sung in the Moscow Uspensky cathedral (cathedral
                    of the Dormition, in the Kremlin), the worshippers, who had been
                    accustomed to going there specially to hear Znamenny chant, were so
                    offended that many walked out of the church.
                    (On weekdays, the services in that cathedral continued to be in
                    unison Znamenny chant until the Bolsheviks closed the Kremlin churches).
                    You have named many famous composers, but remember that, had it
                    not been for the older liturgical music of the Russian Church, they would
                    have had nowhere to start from...

                    On Thu, 10 Jun 1999, Oleg Reoutt wrote:

                    > Gee, maybe you just have to be Russian to really appreciate Russian
                    > Orthodox music. From the joy at Easter or at a wedding to the majesty
                    > during the various feasts and the deeply touching passion week or
                    > funeral singing, give me Arhangelsky, Chesnokov, Kastalsky, Grechaninov,
                    > Turchaninov, Smolensky, Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Soloviev, Lvovsky,
                    > Lomakin, Allemanov, Ippolitov, Rimsky, Nikolsky, Zinoviev, Vinogradov,
                    > Lvov and countless others anytime.
                    > Oleg
                    >
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                    >
                    >
                    >


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                  • Rev. John R. Shaw
                    Or rather Greek to enjoy poetry-- poem being their word. But then, I never quite forgot hearing the opinion somewhere, when I was a child, that poetry was
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                      Or rather Greek to enjoy poetry--"poem" being their word.
                      But then, I never quite forgot hearing the opinion somewhere, when
                      I was a child, that "poetry" was derived from the name of the American
                      lyricist Edgar Allan Poe...

                      On Thu, 10 Jun 1999 LJames6034@... wrote:

                      > If one has to be Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music, does that mean one
                      > has to be Welsh in order to enjoy poetry?
                      >
                      > Just asking.
                      >
                      >
                      > Father Andrew
                      >
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                    • LJames6034@aol.com
                      Oleg, I generally point out for the sake of the literalists, that much of what I say is not intended to be taken literally. I was intending to point out a
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                        Oleg,

                        I generally point out for the sake of the literalists, that much of what I
                        say is not intended to be taken literally.

                        I was intending to point out a certain ethnocentricism inherent in your
                        notion that one has to be born Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music.

                        Would you make the same (rather strange) requirement for all Russian music,
                        or just that of the Russian Church?

                        Is that why the Parisians threw chairs, in (was it?) 1917, at "The Rite of
                        Spring"?


                        I don't thnink so!


                        Father Andrew

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                      • LJames6034@aol.com
                        Thank you, Father John, That was very funny. My thought, as you doubtless know, was intended to aim at phyletism and ethnocentricism, which seem to me to be
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                          Thank you, Father John,

                          That was very funny.

                          My thought, as you doubtless know, was intended to aim at phyletism and
                          ethnocentricism, which seem to me to be manifestations of a form of mental
                          illness.

                          Father Andrew

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                        • Oleg Reoutt
                          ... Dear Father John, what does the fact that people, hearing something they were not used to, walk out of the church, prove? I love Znamennyj Chant: we often
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                            "Rev. John R. Shaw" wrote:
                            >
                            > Be that as it may, it is a matter of history that in 1840 or so, when
                            > L'vov's music was first sung in the Moscow Uspensky cathedral (cathedral
                            > of the Dormition, in the Kremlin), the worshippers, who had been
                            > accustomed to going there specially to hear Znamenny chant, were so
                            > offended that many walked out of the church.

                            Dear Father John,
                            what does the fact that people, hearing something they were not used to,
                            walk out of the church, prove?
                            I love Znamennyj Chant: we often use it to sing "Velichanie", prokimen
                            and "Exapostilarion" on feast days. But how about Kievan chant (not the
                            Bahmetev simplified)? Beautiful. How about Soloviev's Passion Week from
                            the Cerkovno Pevcheskij Sbornik (St Petersburg 1904)? etc...

                            >> You have named many famous composers, but remember that, had it
                            > not been for the older liturgical music of the Russian Church, they would
                            > have had nowhere to start from...

                            But is'nt that the way it normally happens? Should today's composer give
                            up because everything has already been accomplished?

                            Oleg

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                          • Oleg Reoutt
                            ... Dear Father Andrew, Having read several comments about Tchaikovsky s church music being weak and everything after Znamenny Rospev going downhill (not the
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jun 11, 1999
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                              LJames6034@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Oleg,
                              >
                              > I generally point out for the sake of the literalists, that much of what I
                              > say is not intended to be taken literally.
                              >
                              > I was intending to point out a certain ethnocentricism inherent in your
                              > notion that one has to be born Russian to enjoy Russian Orthodox music.

                              Dear Father Andrew,
                              Having read several comments about Tchaikovsky's church music being
                              weak and everything after Znamenny Rospev going downhill (not the exact
                              words, but my recollection) made by posters with non-Russian names, I
                              was moved to a tongue in cheek reply. Beethoven is not Russian, but his
                              music is fantastic. The same holds for Mozart, Bizet, Dvorak to name a
                              few.

                              >> Is that why the Parisians threw chairs, in (was it?) 1917, at "The Rite of
                              > Spring"?

                              Now Stravinsky is often difficult for me. Have you heard his "Our
                              Father"?

                              I know that you know that Pushkin is not Welsh.

                              Oleg

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                            • LJames6034@aol.com
                              If Stravinsky wrote an Our Father, I have never heard it. I confess that, as I get older, Stravinsky becomes less and less difficult to hear. I do not know
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                If Stravinsky wrote an "Our Father," I have never heard it.

                                I confess that, as I get older, Stravinsky becomes less and less difficult to
                                hear.

                                I do not know what that means: It could be that one's hearing tends to
                                deteriorate with age!

                                Yes, I knew you would know I know Pushkin. Why, come to think of it, I have
                                even been to Pushkin (Tsarkoe Selo), where the Summer Palace has been
                                meticulously rebuilt, following the German visit.

                                Try as they might, the communists were never able to co-opt Pushkin.

                                Father Andrew

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                              • Rev. John R. Shaw
                                Perhaps we are arguing at cross-purposes. If you include the ancient music along with the composers who reworked it, then we are on the same wavelength... ...
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                  Perhaps we are arguing at cross-purposes. If you include the ancient music
                                  along with the composers who reworked it, then we are on the same
                                  wavelength...

                                  On Fri, 11 Jun 1999, Oleg Reoutt wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  > "Rev. John R. Shaw" wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Be that as it may, it is a matter of history that in 1840 or so, when
                                  > > L'vov's music was first sung in the Moscow Uspensky cathedral (cathedral
                                  > > of the Dormition, in the Kremlin), the worshippers, who had been
                                  > > accustomed to going there specially to hear Znamenny chant, were so
                                  > > offended that many walked out of the church.
                                  >
                                  > Dear Father John,
                                  > what does the fact that people, hearing something they were not used to,
                                  > walk out of the church, prove?
                                  > I love Znamennyj Chant: we often use it to sing "Velichanie", prokimen
                                  > and "Exapostilarion" on feast days. But how about Kievan chant (not the
                                  > Bahmetev simplified)? Beautiful. How about Soloviev's Passion Week from
                                  > the Cerkovno Pevcheskij Sbornik (St Petersburg 1904)? etc...
                                  >
                                  > >> You have named many famous composers, but remember that, had it
                                  > > not been for the older liturgical music of the Russian Church, they would
                                  > > have had nowhere to start from...
                                  >
                                  > But is'nt that the way it normally happens? Should today's composer give
                                  > up because everything has already been accomplished?
                                  >
                                  > Oleg
                                  >
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                                • Rev. John R. Shaw
                                  I should point out that though I have a non-Russian name , I speak fluent Russian. Reoutt could be taken for non-Russian , although it may be abbreviated
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                    I should point out that though I have a "non-Russian name", I speak
                                    fluent Russian. "Reoutt" could be taken for "non-Russian", although it
                                    may be abbreviated from "Reutov". At the Slavic Department of the
                                    University where I studied, there was a "Dr. Shaw" who taught Russian
                                    literature--but "Shaw" in her case was abbreviated from
                                    "Shevchenko".Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by their
                                    surname!
                                    >
                                    Having read several comments about Tchaikovsky's church music being
                                    > weak and everything after Znamenny Rospev going downhill (not the exact
                                    > words, but my recollection) made by posters with non-Russian names, I
                                    > was moved to a tongue in cheek reply. Beethoven is not Russian, but his
                                    > music is fantastic. The same holds for Mozart, Bizet, Dvorak to name a
                                    > few.
                                    >
                                    > >> Is that why the Parisians threw chairs, in (was it?) 1917, at "The Rite of
                                    > > Spring"?
                                    >
                                    > Now Stravinsky is often difficult for me. Have you heard his "Our
                                    > Father"?
                                    >
                                    > I know that you know that Pushkin is not Welsh.
                                    >
                                    > Oleg
                                    >
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                                    >
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                                  • Matanna@aol.com
                                    ... Me, either, but there were some things that we sang that my brother (younger, not older) later categorized as being po-stravinskomu (roughly translates
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                      >If Stravinsky wrote an "Our Father," I have never heard it.<

                                      Me, either, but there were some things that we sang that my brother (younger,
                                      not older) later categorized as being "po-stravinskomu" (roughly translates
                                      "the Stravinksy way") because of our marked failures in execution.....

                                      ;-D

                                      FWIW, Lermontov had Scottish blood.


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                                    • Robert S Miller
                                      Lermontov had Scots blood, hence genes. And the Royal Family had a Scots physician for some years, although the fated Dr. Botkin had succeeded him: Don t know
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                        Lermontov had Scots blood, hence genes. And
                                        the Royal Family had a Scots physician for some
                                        years, although the fated Dr. Botkin had succeeded him:
                                        Don't know the reason. And whether the Scots physician
                                        sang Znamenny chant is likewise unknown. The real
                                        point is that Orthdox Christianity is Universal/Catholic,
                                        so, the way I understand it, discussion of Znamenny or
                                        Kievan or Sibirsky Rospev concerns really how Russia
                                        adapted/adopted the Chant/Prayer from its Orthodox
                                        Enlightener, Byzantium.
                                        Some may think it puts too fine a point on it to say
                                        that what we like to hear in Church music puts the
                                        situation backward: We are supposed to allow ourselves
                                        to be formed by the Church, and we should not impose
                                        what we like on the Church. That, of course, is very
                                        idealistic. Pastorally, the Chant/Church music
                                        should not be a musical or aesthetic disaster,
                                        in any case: when the senses are jangled, so is the soul.
                                        In short, choirs, if functioning, should rehearse and
                                        rehearse until they get it right, singing whatever
                                        music leads the people to better communal prayer.
                                        Probably I got a little pompous here.

                                        Joseph M

                                        ----------
                                        > From: Matanna@...
                                        > To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com
                                        > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Die Musik
                                        > Date: Saturday, June 12, 1999 9:22 AM
                                        >
                                        > >If Stravinsky wrote an "Our Father," I have never heard it.<
                                        >
                                        > Me, either, but there were some things that we sang that my brother
                                        (younger,
                                        > not older) later categorized as being "po-stravinskomu" (roughly
                                        translates
                                        > "the Stravinksy way") because of our marked failures in execution.....
                                        >
                                        > ;-D
                                        >
                                        > FWIW, Lermontov had Scottish blood.
                                        >


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                                      • LJames6034@aol.com
                                        Dear Anna, When I was a little boy, older people told me: You ll learn patience, when you are older. They lied. Sometimes I wish I were patient, but,
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                          Dear Anna,

                                          When I was a little boy, older people told me: "You'll learn patience, when
                                          you are older."

                                          They lied.

                                          Sometimes I wish I were patient, but, frankly, I find all the emphasis upon
                                          national origin suspect, at best. One of the great Russian writers would sit
                                          down and take two glasses, one containing water, the containing wine.

                                          He would mix these two. The water suggested German ancestry. The red wine
                                          was symbolic of good Russian blood.

                                          He went back several generations in the Royal Family, admixing German water
                                          with Russian wine, until he got to the Emperor then reigning. The Russian
                                          wine had turned to German water.

                                          Among Royal Families, prior to the Protestant Reformation, all the families
                                          were one family.

                                          George Bush had more royal ancestors than any of our presidents, except
                                          George Washington. Bush is even descended from that same family as King Zog
                                          of Albania, believe it or not.

                                          Here is a little something from Dimitri Oblensky's Byzantine Commonwealth
                                          (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971). Obelnsky (p. 225) said: ". . . a
                                          Byzantine princess, almost certainly the daughter of Constasntine IX
                                          Monomachus, was to marry a younger son of Prince Yaroslav of Kiev."

                                          "The child of this marriage born in 1053, is a distinguished figure in
                                          Russian history. Called Vladimir, he inherited his imperial grandfather's
                                          surname which the Russian rendered as Monomakh. Equally outstanding as a
                                          statesman, a general, a writer and a man, Vladimir Monomakh has been compared
                                          to King Alfred of England."

                                          Well he might be, his children were the descendants of St. Alfred the Great.

                                          This is how that happened.

                                          Obelensky (p. 226) says:

                                          ". . . his mother was a Byzantine princess; one of his uncles married the
                                          daughter of the king of Poland; of his three aunts, one married the king of
                                          Norway, another married Henry I of France, a third became the wife of the
                                          king of Hungary. Vladimir's own wife was the daugther of King Harold of
                                          England; his eldest son married the daughter of the king of Sweden, his
                                          daughter married the king of Hungary; and his granddaughger married into the
                                          imperial family of the Comeni."

                                          With all this admixture of Good Russian Blood with the blood of the Royal
                                          Families of Western Europe, surely, somewhere along the way, there had to be
                                          various "borrowings" of one thing and another? Genes, if nothing else!

                                          King Harold, II, was the last Orthodox king of England. At the Battle of
                                          Hastings, he was shot in the eye by a Norman knight. The Normans cut off his
                                          head, and threw it, together with his left leg, somewhere, away. But,
                                          Harold's descendants came to rule Russia. Just as the last Saxon kings came
                                          to rule both England and Scotland, via Edward the Aetheling's descendants,
                                          the Stewarts. It is just that few of us remember the Saxon ancestry of the
                                          Russian Royal House.

                                          In Eisenstein's wonderful movie: "Alexander Nevsky," one is shown the heroic
                                          figure of St. Alexander (in a John Barrymore stance). Mongols ask "Who are
                                          you?" He answers: "Kynaz Alexander. I am prince here."

                                          A little redundancy there. A "knyaz" is a "prince," but, no matter. That
                                          scene is historically inaccurate, in that, it was the Mogols who made St.
                                          Alexander "prince."
                                          Not that I am complaining.

                                          As Gilbert and Sullivan once put it: "Things are seldom what they seem.
                                          Skim milk masquerades as cream. . . . "

                                          When I was a boy, we learned to say: "De gustibus non disputatem." (Don't
                                          argue about taste). That's a dictum to cover any musical or artistic taste,
                                          Russian or otherwise, I think.

                                          Surely, after Herr Hitler, it will one day become silly to discuss racial or
                                          ethnic purity?

                                          The Russian Royal House is my best argument for abandoning all that.

                                          God hasten the day.


                                          Father Andrew L. J. James, Ph.D., knyaz

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                                        • LJames6034@aol.com
                                          What I meant to say, when I said: Just as the descendants of the Saxon kings came to rule England and Scotland, via descent from Edward the Aetheling,
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jun 12, 1999
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                                            What I meant to say, when I said: "Just as the descendants of the Saxon
                                            kings came to rule England and Scotland, via descent from Edward the
                                            Aetheling, through the Stewarts, so, also, descendants of the Saxon kings
                                            came to rule over Russia." I presume most of you knew that. Try to forgive
                                            me for the sentence fragment.

                                            I cannot abide sentence fragments.

                                            I complained about that in a letter to the Sunday Magazine of The New York
                                            Times, concerning an article written by Susan Sontag.

                                            All I said was:

                                            "Just war. Good.
                                            Sentence fragments. Bad."

                                            God is rewarding me for being a smart aleck.


                                            Father Andrew

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