kyrie eleison (paranjoti) (satb)
Kyrie Eleison, an exquisite work for double chorus, has moved audiences all over the world, wherever it has been performed. Strong use of form and structure, the unusually beautiful harmony, and the understanding of the choral medium that it displays, makes this invocation truly a little masterpiece. Paranjoti had intended this piece to represent the Purvikaliyani Raga of the Carnatic School of Indian music, and indeed had so marked the manuscript. Although in a tour de force of harmonic writing, he does use only the notes of that raga, the effect changes the bhava or mood into something completely unique and his own.
Victor Paranjoti never realized that his music might someday be performed by choirs other than his own. Therefore his amendments were never written into the score, but always made verbally. Some of his manuscripts also contained errors which were corrected only verbally, since making corrections on several dozen copies would have been unduly laborious in those pre-copier days. He died unexpectedly in 1967, and Coomi Wadia was elected conductor of Paranjoti’s choir. She was associated with him from the earliest days, first as a soprano, then as his accompanist (he was a fine tenor) and his assistant conductor. She has been associated with Victor Paranjoti for over sixty years (2010) and is uniquely qualified to put down on paper what Paranjoti actually performed, rather than what was in manuscript. When it was decided to publish Paranjoti’s music, it was deemed fit that correct notes and instructions be used rather than what might mistakenly be accepted as urtext.
Nariman H. Wadia