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Composers Of The Centuries Essay

753 words - 4 pages

Knut Nystedt is an orchestral and choral composer, born September 3, 1915, in Kristiania which is now Oslo, Norway. He grew up in a Christian home where hymns and classical music were a vital part of everyday life. His major compositions for choir and vocal soloists are mainly based on texts from the Bible or themes that are considered sacred. Old church music, especially Palestrina and Gregorian chants, have had a major influence on his compositions. He has studied with Aaron Copland, and many others. Nystedt was organist in the Torshov Church in Oslo from 1946 to 1982 and taught conducting at the University of Oslo from 1964 to 1985. Nystedt founded and conducted a Norwegian choir from ...view middle of the document...

There he founded a choral conducting program, which he taught from 1920 until his death.
By the age of 30, Chesnokov had completed nearly four hundred sacred choral works but his proliferation of church music came to a standstill at the time of the Russian revolution. Under communist rule, no one was permitted to produce any form of sacred art. So in response, he composed an additional hundred secular works, and conducted secular choirs like the Moscow Academy Choir and the Bolshoi Theatre Choir. With Joseph Stalin as dictator of the Soviet Union, many religious people suffered for his effort to enforce a universal doctrine of atheism. In this pursuit, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour,whose last choirmaster had been Chesnokov, was destroyed. This bothered him so much that he stopped writing music altogether. He died on 14 March 1944.
In regards to “I Will Praise Thee, O Lord”, here is a little historical background. In 1917, the peasants and lower class citizens of Russia started a revolution and overthrew the reign of the tsars. The new form of government that took over established Communism. Among the many changes that resulted was the shutting down of the Russian Orthodox Church. The...

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