Ivan the Terrible’s stichera: the idea of russia’s spiritual elevation
Based on extensive written sources, the authors of this article have for the first time examined two chant cycles created by Ivan the Terrible: one dedicated to St. Peter the Metropolitan of All Russia and the other in honour of the Vladimir Theotokos (Mother of God). The researchers have paid particular attention to the author’s realisation of a traditional Old Russian principle of hymnographical art: to compose chants on the basis of sample (“the podoben”). The implementation of this principle presupposes following a model completely or partially when the coincidence of separate lines (usually the initial or final lines, or those key to the formation of chants) is admitted. They conclude that Ivan the Terrible displayed a significant degree of creative freedom in revealing the images. He used not only the samples, but also some versions of earlier chants based on them. Ivan the Terrible demonstrated a deep understanding of the original sources, their artistic processing, as well as his education, expressed in the knowledge of the tradition and its creative implementation. In the new historical context of his reign, Tsar Ivan worked theintensively over these sources and added a more patriotic sounding content to the cycles. Thanks to the tsar’s skill, his stichera are a fine example of the creation of new meaning on the basis of the tradition.
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