CD Review: Let My Prayer Be Set Forth

"Let My Prayer Be Set Forth" is the newly-released CD by the Byzantine Choir of Saint Mark of Ephesus Cathedral, our Sister Cathedral in Boston. I have known this choir for some time, as well as her director Mr. Spiridon Antonopoulos. The choir was trained in the received classical tradition of Byzantine Ecclesiastical Chant by the Dean of the Cathedral, Protopresbyter Christos Constantinou, and has only flourished and grown in the years since Mr. Antonopoulos assumed directorship of the choir.

The choir executes the hymns and psalms well, and with proper Byzantine Yphos (style), intervals, and ornamentation. The highlights of the CD are the Polyeleos Eclogi "Logon Agathon" in the Plagal Fourth Mode, "From My Youth" in the Fourth Mode, as well as the communion Hymn of Ioannis Protopsaltis "Praise the Lord from the Heavens."

Most noticeable is the lack of airy romanticism and light vocal character found in some choirs in the Church in North America. No sissy chanting here – this is bold, heroic, and prayerful. "Let My Prayer Arise" is temple music at its finest, excellent first fruit of this young choir, and is to be both commended and recommended to all lovers of our Byzantine heritage, not only for listening quality, but to imitate at the chanter's stands of our Churches.

To Order: Contact the St. Mark of Ephesus Cathedral Bookstore at (617) 469-2380 or email byzantinechant@gmail.com.