April 18, 2020

A 1930 Recording of the Hymn "Today is Hung Upon the Cross" by a Chanter from Smyrna

Petros Maneas

Below is a recording from 1930 of the well-known hymn "Today is Hung Upon the Cross" ("Simeron Krematai Epi Xylou") from Matins of Great Friday which is chanted during the procession of the Holy Cross on Holy Thursday evening. Although it is normally done in Plagal of the Sixth Mode, this version is done in Plagal of the First. The recording comes from a protopsaltis from Smyrna named Petros Maneas. He had first started recording hymns in 1911 in Smyrna, and although he was an important chanter of the time, he had managed to form a polyphonic choir of men and women which was rare for the time. This recording was done in Athens, from which time we also have three other recordings of his - "Ti Ypermacho", "Erchomenos o Kyrios" and "Axion Estin". It was in 1931 that he became the protopsalti at the Church of the Zoodochos Pege in Akadimias of Athens, where he chanted until his death. These recordings come from the disc "Μουσική της Ελληνικής Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας" 1924-1930, of the series ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ ΑΡΧΕΙΟΝ.