it was only relatively recently, in June 2006, that I began to compose music again, after an almost twenty-year break. I began with the Divine Liturgy, which I composed in ten days, while traveling from Moscow to Budapest and then from Vienna to Annecy via Geneva. Some pieces were composed in airports or on the plane. For example, the Beatitudes were composed in the Sheremetyevo airport, “Holy God” on the plane from Moscow to Budapest, some litanies in the Geneva airport, some other pieces in Annecy during the sessions of the WCC Faith and Order Commission. Then in August of the same year, when I was more or less on holiday in Moscow, I composed the “All-Night Vigil.” And then, on 19 August, while I was driving from Vienna, where I celebrated the Holy Transfiguration, to Budapest, where I was to celebrate the memory of St. Stephen of Hungary on the following day, an idea occurred to me to compose the “St. Matthew Passion” using the Bach model but filling it with Orthodox content. On my way back from Budapest I began to compose in my head the early melodies. It took me three weeks to compose about 80 percent of the music. I then left it aside for a couple of months, after which I returned to it, added a few pieces, and made a thorough revision.
DESPRE MUZICĂ, TEOLOGIE ŞI MISIUNEA ORTODOXĂ ÎN DIASPORA. UN INTERVIU CU EPISCOPUL ILARION ALFEYEV