Peter Bereketis

His life and his work

Peter the Sweet the Bereketis was so called from the turkish word «bereket» (plenty) which he used when his students asked him whether he has any more Heirmoi to teach them.

Together with Chrysaphes the New, Germanos of New Patras, and priest Balasios, there are the four great musicans who excelled in the ends of the XVIIth and the beginning of the XVIIIth century. He was one of the most esteemed musicians after the Fall; he composed a large variety of hymns, such as the two-choir «Θεοτόκε Παρθένε» with kratema, polyelei, doxologies, special asmatics, pasapnoaria, weekly communion hymns, communion hymns for the feasts of the year in various modes, cherubic hymns, and katavasias for Christmas.

But he was especially distinguished for the melodification of the Heirmoi, surpassing all his contemporaries; that is why his Heirmoi were called «Calophonic» by the melodists, due to their incomparable sweetness. He was named the «father of the Calophonic Heirmoi». From the composition of Bereketis, most we transcribed from the ancient notation into the modern one by Chrysanthos and Gregory Protopsaltes and were published in various Anthologies.

He lived when Archcantors of the Great Church were Panagiotis Chalatzoglou and John of Trapezon. He was taught music in his homeland, Constantinople, and later at the Holy Mount Athos by the famous musican Damian of Vatopedi. For several years, he served as the archcantor of the Church of St Constantine at Hypsomatheia.