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An early Christian hymn reimagined

J-P Mauro - published on 08/02/17

The music is both comforting and epic.

“Hos Ephanerothe” is one of the oldest Christian hymns. Its lyrics come from 1 Timothy 3:16:

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Of course, the earliest hymns would have been written for unaccompanied voices. Instruments were not incorporated into church settings until the 10th-12th centuries. Since the voice is the instrument of angels, it was believed God’s praise should be sung.

Instruments were also associated with secular music, and for most of ancient history those who played instruments were considered to be of a lower class.

This recording was arranged by Polish composer, Radomir Nowotarski. Radomir studied music at the I. J. Paderewski State Music School in Krosno and theology at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland. He writes settings for sacred music, as well as epic instrumental works.

Nowotarski’s compositions are usually instrumental. Even when there are vocals, he uses them for blending instrumentation, rather than placing the focus on lyrics. For him, “Music and spirituality are inextricably linked” and he uses his knowledge of theology with his prowess as a composer to create sacred music which attempts to “discern that which is eternal and divine.”

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