"Melos Paisian" Psaltic Group
The MELOS PAISIAN Psaltic Group was established in June 2021 upon the initiative of psalmists Dorin Ionescu and Fr. Ionuț Merticariu, following the urge of the spiritual father Justin Pârvu, one of the continuators of the Paisian current in our country, to publish and interpret the Romanian psaltic treasures of the 18th-19th centuries. They constitute a vast repertoire of psaltic compositions from and after the period of Saint Paisie Velicicovski, the teacher of the renewal of the Romanian hesychasm and staretz of the Neamt Monastery, after whom we have also chosen named our choir (MELOS PAISIAN) and thus taking Pious Paisie as our protector, asking for his help, for the continuity of our work.
The Paisian school of Byzantine music represents the "golden age" of psaltic composition on the Romanian soil, where the traditional melos was interwoven with hesychast prayer. This is the age of illustrative figures such as monks Iosif, Visarion, Calinic, Dorothei and even hieromonk Macarie, the teacher of the "Romanianization" of church chants, men gifted by God with chosen virtues, who have handed down to us genuine treasures, but which unfortunately are very little, and sometimes not at all, present in the analogion of psaltes or psaltic groups, although they are clear evidence of an authentic traditional Romanian style.
In light of the above, it became mandatory to form a group focused exclusively on the chanting of Paisian compositions. From the very beginning, on the occasion of the commemoration of staretz Justin Pârvu in Petru Voda Monastery, during the vigil, we managed to chant pieces that had never been performed before, among which the most representative were the Moldavian Anixandaria by monk Iosif, composed in 1785. The collaboration with Petru Voda Monastery was fruitful. A series of comprehensive Paisian vigils were made, and later we managed to print the Moldavian Anixandaria as an audio album, a project financed by staretz Hariton Negrea. Nun Elena acted as artistic manager and monk Filotheu Bălan contributed as a scientific referee. Other important moments in our activity were the two vigils organized by IBMF on the occasion of the feasts of St. Simeon the New Theologian and St. Gregory Palamas and the participation in the feast day of the Icon of the Mother of God Odigitria in the Neamt Monastery, as well as other participations in archiepiscopal services in the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bucovina.
The MELOS PAISIAN Psaltic Group follows the interpretative erminia of the Greek Byzantine Choir, especially from the period when it was conducted by the late Lykourgos Angelopoulos (+2014), a true teacher and lover of the Romanian psaltes, a personality who stands at the basis of the revival of psaltic music in our country after the communist period. That is why, following his teachings, we have been enriching our repertoire with compositions of the old Byzantine or meta-Byzantine masters, such as St. John Koukouzelis, St. John Glykis, Ioannis Kladas, Gherman Neon Patron, Balasie the Priest, Petros Bereketis, Petros Lampadarios, Iakovos Protopsaltis, Hurmuz Hartofylax and many others, outstanding personalities in different ages, who perfected the art of psaltic music, an inexhaustible source of music inspired by the Holy Spirit for the spiritual nourishment of us today.
The members of the MELOS PAISIAN Psaltic Group, students or graduates of the "Dumitru Stăniloae" Faculty of Theology, of the "George Enescu" Conservatory, as well as of other faculties of the "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University, have accumulated a vast experience in the "analogion" of the Church for more than 15 years, working over time in several consecrated choirs in our country. The members of this group, priests, artists or employees of cultural institutions in Iasi, employed in the IT or other fields, give thanks and praise to God for the gifts received. We have been trying to improve ourselves and to offer belivers authentic and well-performed chanting, which can change the state of one’s soul.
The MELOS PAISIAN choral group is based at the Banu Church in Iasi, a historic building of special beauty.