K55 Символъ Вђры
для церковнаго обихода – (Russe) Credo pour chœur mixte a cappella – (Russisches) Credo für [vierstimmig] gemischten Chor a cappella – (Russian) Credo for mixed choir a cappella – Credo per coro misto [a quattro voci] a cappella
Title: Strawinsky himself referred to this work as ‘Russian Credo’, thus combining an English word with a Church-Latin Incipit without using the English adaptation of the word, ‘Creed’. He excluded the idea of using the subtitle ‘Orthodox’, which was featured in the proof by the publishers, for good reasons. The publishers then printed the main title in Russian and set Strawinsky’s title, ‘Russian Credo’, as the subtitle.
Text: The Credo belongs to one of the fixed sections of the mass for the singing of the Ordinary, and liturgically comes between the Announcement of the Good News (The Gospel) and the Proper Offertory. The name comes from the Incipit ‘Credo in unum Deum’ (I believe in one God), and is the name for both the Apostolic and Nicene/Constantinople confessions of faith. In the Credo, the main truths of the Christian Church are laid out formulaically in their most concise form. The actual term for the Credo is ‘Symbolon’ (σύμβολον) as it is called today in the Greek and Russian Churches, because the contents stand symbolically for one’s personal religious conviction. The Credo was entered into the Mass as the latest constituent part in 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII at the wish of Kaiser Heinrich II, and as an individual act, it is a liturgically foreign section in this respect.
Sung text: >Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula; Deum de Deo, lumen de Iumine, Deum verum de Deo vero; genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quem omnia facta sunt; qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto, ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, sub Pontio Pilato passus et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die secundum scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.< [I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light; true God of true God. Begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven.And was made Flesh by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary; and was made man. He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead: of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; Who spoke by the Prophets. And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptiam for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.]
Construction: The work is a four-part, recitative-based choral work without accompaniment at a length of 79 bars; it has constantly changing meter defined by the declamation and is divided into sections by the positions of the breaths.
Revised Church-Slavonic version:
Quaver = about 140 (79 bars)
Corrections / Errata
Russian Credo BH 19285
1.) bar 25 (pronunciation): Y in Yim has to be removed.
Style: The Credo is syllabic with certain exceptions coming from the text, and so it is set with chords in recitative with formalized melodic development. The proximity to choral treatment of language of Byzantine church music can be clearly heard. There are no compositional changes between the first Church-Slavonic and the Latin version apart from differences in the spoken declamatory phrases and in accent. The differences between the first and second Church-Slavonic versions have to do with rhythmic anchorage. In comparison with the two other motets, Pater Noster and Ave Maria, the Credo is the most strongly formulaic work. All three motets are structurally and compositionally individual, aside from their biographical and theological expressive value. –
The Credo is made up of 23 mostly small sections divided by breath marks which form single units of meaning and Strawinsky uses 16 different recitation formulae of great simplicity and set with narrowly defined range. The incessant change of meter (of the 79 bars, 56 change between 2/8, 3/8 and 4/8, 5/16, 6/16/, 7/16, 8/16 and 9/16 bars including a combination of 3+2+3 semiquavers) is the result of concern for the flow of the language and does not serve the rhythmic effect. The instruction for the singers in the first bar, Tutto molto metrico, non forte, non espress. forbids an emotional realization of the dogmatic text of the confession of faith. The four-part recitation is geared towards the comprehensibility of the text and praying simply through singing but with happiness at the same time. The truths of belief must work from themselves and thus convey joy and hope. The syllabic declamation is interrupted eight times when the text emphasizes the relationship of the Dead to the Resurrection through God: bar 12 refers to God, bar 33 to the Holy Ghost, bar 41 to burial, bar 52 to judgment, bar 62 to the prophets, bars 74 and 75 to the Resurrection of the Dead and bar 77 to the future world. Strawinsky certainly adds terms of meaning to the musical formulae, a process which he develops further in the next motet Ave Maria, for seven sections have with other sections the same formula (model). The ordering says something about Strawinsky’s theological understanding. He identifies God the Father (Section A = bars 1-3) and Jesus Christ as a unit (section D = bars 9-11) with an identical musical phrase, c sharp-d-c sharp, and consequentially builds the same musical formula into the larger connection where the Holy Ghost is referred to (Section R = bars 57-66). In this way, Strawinsky lets no doubt arise about his Trinitarian understanding of God. He uses the recitation note a (sections F and G = bars 18-19 and 19-21) to join the image of light with the true God but also with the Church which he founded with Baptism and the forgiveness of sins (sections S and T = bars 67-70 and 71-74) and naturally to have the redeeming death on the Cross as the precondition for it (section M = bars 36-39). In the same way, Strawinsky creates a unity of meaning between the ‘bigotten’ and the ‘not made’ from the identical recitation formula (sections H and I = bars 21-22 and 22-23).
Dedication: no dedication known.
Duration: about 2' 41" (revised Church-Slavonic version).
Date of origin: a) Church-Slavonic version: Nizza 1926; b) Latin version: February 1949; c) revised Church-Slavonic version: May 1964.
First performance: Pater Noster, Credo and Ave Maria were premièred under Strawinsky’s baton at a memorial concert to the memory of the American composer, Blaire Fairchild, who died on 23rd April 1933 in Paris, on 18th May 1934, in the Salle Gaveau in Paris under the joint title ‘Trois Chants d’église’.
Remarks: From the manuscript in the estate, it can be seen that Strawinsky originally planned the Credo to be in six parts and partly had written it already in the neat copy. There were several reasons for the reworking in 1949. Presumably in order to make the work appropriate for Western performance practice, especially in liturgical context, he replaced the Church-Slavonic, Russian text with a Latin text. Furthermore, the reworking may relate to the numerous revised versions which he undertook after the English publishers Boosey & Hawkes took over the Strawinsky estate from the Russian music publishers in order to be able to ban the illegally printed old Berlin editions and to replace them with copyright-protected new editions. – There is also no reliable information about the background to the composition of the more recent reworking of 1964 so far. There would certainly have been a definite reason for this, especially since Strawinsky replaced the Church Latin with Church Slavonic. It is probably connected with the vinyl recording of 20th August 1965, at which already the revised Russian version was sung.
Situationsgeschichte: From a theological point of view, the emphasis of particular moments of the keyword-like dogmas which precede one another disturbs the objective homogeneity of dogmatic expression. Strawinsky follows the practice of raised recitation, taken from the Gregorian chorale, and with it directs himself against the piousness of feeling in the programmatic, pictorial character of secularized church music which had increased during the course of the century in the time after Josephinian enlightenment. His Credo consists of formalized choral recitation with numerous concealed points of meaning which avoids metaphorical language and neither prefers nor neglects the value of any dogma above that of another, and in this way, it fulfils all theological, liturgical and functional obligations. Against the assertion that his Credo was too long, Strawinsky answered that he had his reasons: there has to be so much to believe.
Significance: Strawinsky avoided everything that could disturb the execution of the sung recitation and the multi-faceted analysable Credo embodies a theology entirely turned in on itself and belongs to a type of church music which was always the exception throughout the centuries.
Versions: The Church-Slavonic original version was published in 1933 by the ‘Russischer Musikverlag’. Between 1933 and 1938, only 130 copies were sold, of which 50 were sold in 1930, presumably because of a performance in the United States. The motet later went to the publishers Boosey & Hawkes. The Latin reworking was produced there and in 1966, the later reworking of the Church Slavonic of 1964. The new contract bears the date 21st September 1964. The second Church-Slavonic version contains a text printed in Cyrillic with transliteration printed underneath and the footnote that ‘n’ in ‘Amin’ should be pronounced as the Spanish ‘ň’, and a further page giving the English phonetics for the pronunciation of the Russian. Strawinsky did not regard this sort of phonetic transliteration very highly although he himself validated it and valued its publication; he was however of the opinion that those who could not speak Russian would not take much adventage of phonetics. He received his contributed copy of this edition in August 1966. The contributed copy was entered into the British Library on 26th July 1966. – Strawinsky was entirely unhappy with the later German edition by Boosey. Firstly, he did not accept why the publication mixed languages with several subtitles under the German main title instead of standardizing them; secondly, the careless handling of its rhythmic conception annoyed him, as his markings in pencil in the labelled, but not dated contributory copy prove. The necessity for the alternation of languages between German and French seemed to him to be absurd and he commented on the first line of the outer title-page with ‘why in / German’, the rights reservation on the first page of musical text underneath the score ‘ Propriété de l’éditeur pour tous pays’ with ‘why in French?’ and the subtitle of the main title, this time in a box, again with ‘why in German?’. He also wrote bluntly on the outer title page in the middle between the title and the name of the branch: ‘Impossible Latin version / Killing all my rhythmical design’. What is named here as the German edition is an edition in which the Bonn branch of Boosey & Hawkes appears in a prominent position on the title page, took on the plate number of the Russian Music Publishers (R.M.V. 562) and after 1955 became 18411 at Boosey & Hawkes. All editions were printed by Stürtz in Würzburg. The composer’s comments in the margins had no effect however, as the subsequent edition shows; he probably decided to leave them as criticisms in pencil out of consideration for those responsible.
Historical recording: Hollywood 20. August 1965 with the Gregg Smith Singers (chorus director Gregg Smith) under the direction of Igor Strawinsky.
CD edition: XI-1/9 (Version 1964 in Old Slavonic).
Autographs: Neat copies of both versions are situated in the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel, and the autograph of the later Latin version is in the Library of Congress in Washington.
Copyright: 1933 by Russischen Musikverlag; 1947 assigned to Boosey & Hawkes; 1966 revised version by Boosey & Hawkes.
55-1 1933 Church Slavonic; Russischer Musikverlag Berlin; 7 pp.; R. M. V. 562.
55-2 1952 Latin, German edition; Boosey & Hawkes London; 7 pp.; R. M. V. 562.
55-2Straw [with annotations].
55-2  ibd.
55-3 1957 Latin, American edition; Boosey & Hawkes; 7 pp.; Pl.-Nr. R. M. V. 562.
55-4  Latin, German edition; Boosey & Hawkes London; 7 pp.; B. & H. 18411.
55-5 1966 Church Slavonic; Boosey & Hawkes London; 12 pp.; B. & H. 19285.
b) Characteristic features
55-1 ИГОРЬ СТРАВИНСКIЙ / Символъ Вђры / для церковнагщ обихода / [vignette] / россійское / музыкальное издательство // IGOR STRAWINSKY / CREDO / pour chœur mixte a capella / Prix: RM 1.50 / Frs. 2. = / ÉDITION RUSSE DE MUSIQUE / RUSSISCHER MUSIKVERLAG (G.M.B.H.**) / FONDÉE PAR S. ET N. KOUSSEVITZKY / BERLIN · LEIPZIG · PARIS · MOSCOU · LONDRES · NEW YORK · BUENOS AIRES / [°] / S.I.M.A.G. - Asnières - Paris. / 2 et 4, Avenue de la Marne – XXXIII / [°°] // (Choral score [library binding] 18.5 x 27.6 (8° [Lex. 8°]); sung text Russian with French tansliteration; 7  pages + 4 cover pages thick paper black on white [front cover title in an ornamental frame with very distorted fancy lettering* and a vignette 1.9 x 1.9 of the Maltese Cross with convex ends, 3 empty pages] + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [table of French pronunciation of Latin transliteration letters >Notice sur la transcription latine<]; title head >Символъ Вђры< ; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 2 below title head flush right centred >ИГОРЬ СТРАВИНСКIЙ / 1932<; legal reservations 1. page of the score below type area flush left centred >Propriété de l'Editeur pour tous pays / Edition Russe de Musique / Russischer Musikverlag G. m. b. H. Berlin.< flush right centred > Tous droits d'exécution, de traduction, de reproduction et / d'arrangements reservés Pour tous pays<; plate number >R. M. V. 562<; production indications p. 7 below type area flush left centred >S. I. M. A. G. - Asnières-Paris. / 2 et 4, Avenue de la Marne – XXXIII< flush right as end mark >GRANDJEAN GRAV.<) // (1933)
° Dividing horizontal line of 0,8 cm.
°° The London copy >F.1594.l.(1.) <, which was bought on 1. August 1958, contains at the bottom of the page flush right a stamp >MAJORATION 400 %<.
* Using accent signs; the initials of the two-part main title printed in red script.
** G.M.B.H. is printed in smaller letters whereas B. and H. are printed below the G. and M.
55-2 IGOR STRAWINSKY / CREDO / FÜR GEMISCHTEN CHOR / A CAPPELLA* / BOOSEY & HAWKES LTD. / LONDON · NEW YORK · SYDNEY · TORONTO · CAPETOWN · / PARIS · BUENOS AIRES · CHICAGO · LOS ANGELES / NIEDERLASSUNG IN GERMANLAND: / BONN AM RHEIN · Hausdorffstrasse 15 // (Choral score [library binding] 18.5 x 27.6 (8° [Lex. 8°]); sung text Latin; 7  pages without cover + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 2 below title head >CREDO / für 4stg. gem. Chor a capella<* flush right >IGOR STRAWINSKY<; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area >Copyright 1933 by Russischer Musikverlag GmbH. Berlin / Boosey & Hawkes, Ltd. London W. 1< flush left >Propriété d l'éditeur pour tous pays<; plate number >R. M. V. 562<; production indication p. 8 as end mark flush right centred as end mark >Stich und Druck der Universitätsdruckerei / H. Stürtz A. G. Würzburg.<) // (1951*)
* Original spelling >CAPPELLA< respectively >capella<.
** According to Hofmeister; 1952 according to Catalogue Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig.
Strawinsky ’s copy contains annotations on the cover title, next to first line, framed with pencil >why in / German?<; below >A CAPPELLA< centre with pencil > Impossible Latin version / killed all my rhythmical dessin / ISt<; next to >Propriété de l’éditeur pour tous pays< with pencil >why in French?<. It is written on the ornamental title page above Russian name flush right >Latin text / new version<, next to name >by<, between name and title >IStrawinsky< and next to title >1949<, p. 3 contains a side note >3 | 2. | 34 # Homeyer # .68< and a correction.
55-2 IGOR STRAWINSKY / CREDO / FÜR GEMISCHTEN CHOR / A CAPPELLA / BOOSEY & HAWKES LTD. / LONDON · NEW YORK · SYDNEY · TORONTO · CAPETOWN · PARIS / BOOSEY & HAWKES G.M.B.H. · BONN // (Choral score [library binding] 18 x 26.7 ([Lex 8°]); sung text Latin; 7  pages black on creme + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >CREDO / für 4stg. gem. Chor a capella<; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 2 below title head flush right >IGOR STRAWINSKY<; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area flush left >Propriété de l’éditeur pour tous pays / Copyright 1933 by Russischer Musikverlag G m b H Berlin / Boosey & Hawkes, Ltd. London W. 1<; plate number R. M. V. 562; production indication p. 7 flush right centred as end mark >Stich und Druck der Universitätsdruckerei / H. Stürtz A. G., Würzburg.< // 
55-3 5187 [#] S. A. T. B. [#] 80 ¢ / Igor Stravinsky / CREDO / BOOSEY & HAWKES // (Choral score 18.1 x 27.7 (8° [Lex 8°]); sung text Latin; 7  pages without cover + 1 page front matter [title page black on white in the text box contained] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 2 >Igor Stravinsky<; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area >Copyright 1933 by Russischer Musikverlag G m b H Berlin / Copyright assigned 1947 to Boosey & Hawkes, Inc / Copyright for all countries U.S. edition 1957<; plate number >R. M. V. 562<; production indication 1st page of the score below type area >Printed in U. S. A.>; without end mark) // 1957
55-4 IGOR STRAWINSKY / CREDO / FÜR GEMISCHTEN CHOR / A CAPPELLA / BOOSEY & HAWKES LTD. / LONDON · NEW YORK · SYDNEY · TORONTO · CAPETOWN · PARIS / BOOSEY & HAWKES G.M.B.H · BONN // (Choral score [library binding] 18.5 x 27.5 (8° [Lex 8°]); sung text Latin; 7  pages without cover + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >CREDO / für 4stg. gem. Chor a capella<; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 2 below title head flush right >IGOR STRAWINSKY<; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area flush left >Propriété de l’éditeur pour tous pays / Copyright 1933 by Russischer Musikverlag GmbH. Berlin / Copyright assigned 1947 to Boosey & Hawkes, Ltd. / Boosey & Hawkes, Ltd. London W. 1<; plate number >B. & H. 18411<; production indications 1 page of the score below type area flush right >Printed in Germany< p. 7 flush right centred as end mark >Stich und Druck der Universitätsdruckerei / H. Stürtz A. G., Würzburg.<) // 
55-5 IGOR STRAVINSKY / RUSSIAN CREDO / (1964 version) / S.A.T.B. / BOOSEY & HAWKES // Choral score unsewn 18.5 x 25.9 (8° [Lex 8°]); sung text in Church Slavonic with a transliteration for English speakers alongside it ; 12  pages without cover + 2 pages front matter [front cover title, table of French pronunciation of Latin transliteration letters]; title head Russian-English >Символъ Вђры / RUSSIAN CREDO<; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 3 below title head flush right centred > Игорь Ставинский / IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1932 / new version 1964<; legal reservations 1st page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright 1933 by Edition Russe de Musique (Russischer Musikverlag) / Copyright assigned 1947 to Boosey & Hawkes Inc. for all Countries / Revised version © by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.< flush right >All rights reserved / Tonsättning förbjudes< p. 12 below type area centre centred >Application for permission to perform this work in public should be made to / The Performing Right Society Ltd., 29 - 33 Berners St., London, W. 1.<; production indication 1st page of the score below type area below legal reservation flush right >Printed in England<; plate number >B. & H. 19285<; without end mark p. 12) // (1966)
K Catalog: Annotated Catalog of Works and Work Editions of Igor Strawinsky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Helmut Kirchmeyer.
© Helmut Kirchmeyer. All rights reserved.
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