Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky Presents Scholarly Talk at St. Vladimir's Seminary
Holy Trinity Seminary Dean, Nicholas Schidlovsky, M.F.A, Ph.D presented a scholarly talk at the 2024 COLLOQUIUM ON LITURGICAL MUSIC IN EASTERN ORTHODOX EDUCATION. This conference was held at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY on March 13 - 14, 2024. The following is a synopsis of Dean Nicolas' presentation:
                                          "Church Music in Mid-19th Century Russia: Revisiting Some Considerations for Our Time"  
In a remarkable letter addressed to Alexei Lvov (1798-1870), or the well-known musician and author of the St. Petersburg Court Cappella's so-called "Obikhod" in 1848 (the first extensive anthology of Russia's Imperial cantus usualis or "common chant"), it was none other than Archbishop Innokenty (1800-1857) of Kherson and Tauride, one of the period's most respected church leaders from the Ukraine, who wrote:
                  "Oh dear co-laborer in the fields of the Lord! ... Please accept our most sincere and complete recognition of your remembrance of us so distantly located from you. We can surely say without the slightest exaggeration that your masterful labors are launching a completely new epoch in church singing, which will now serve as a permanent monument to you not only for all lovers of harmony, but for all people in the entire Orthodox Church on behalf of which you are performing such a thoroughly unforgettable service."  
Published upon request from Czar Nicholas I, Lvov's "Obikhod" quickly became a source of significant controversy with widespread arguments about its historical value still continuing today. So, what exactly did the eminent bishop have in mind in granting Lvov such unconditional praise? And how might we best understand his letter? Schidlovsky's paper drew attention to possible answers from a range of documents suggesting useful historical insight for contemporary Orthodox choral practice. 
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