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Forgotten Work By Master Georgian Composer Reincarnated By U.S. Chorale

Portrait of Georgian composer Zakaria Paliashvili by Ucha Jafaridze.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

WASHINGTON -- As the voices of 80 choral singers filled a Washington, D.C., church with music this past weekend, a master Georgian composer's spirit was raised in the most unlikely of circumstances.

About a century ago, Zakaria Paliashvili, regarded as the father of Georgian classical music, set the "Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" to music. The text, a staple of Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic church services, was given a unique treatment by the composer, who sought to execute a delicate balancing act that was both musical and political.

His goal: to marry the ancient Georgian tradition of three-part chant -- which was disappearing under the linguistic and cultural yoke of tsarist Russification -- with the standard church music forms sanctioned by Moscow.

Disappeared Into History

The result was a 22-movement score, matched to text in both Georgian and Old Church Slavonic.

Over time, however, the piece disappeared into history.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Forgotten Work By Master Georgian Composer Reincarnated By U.S. Chorale

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