Orthodox Arts Journal Review for Good Friday

Good Friday In Jerusalem: Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Good Friday In Jerusalem: Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Church of the Holy SepulchreThe Orthodox Arts Journal asks “How can music be alive?” in On History and Tradition: A Review of Cappella Romana’s “Good Friday in Jerusalem”.

Good Friday in Jerusalem is no exception to the level of quality that audiences have come to expect from Cappella Romana’s recordings; the singing on the disc is at once rich, incisive, alive, and achingly beautiful. … The fact is that Byzantine chant is a tradition that is still growing and changing, like any living thing, and so the old and the new remain connected. In this way, a recording like Good Friday in Jerusalem has the capacity to inspire and influence the work of living composers of Byzantine chant, and it should. Even though some of the music on this disc is separated from today’s composers and chanters by nearly nine centuries, it is clear that both speak the same musical language and share the same musical culture in a deep way. … But in a living musical tradition, music being old is not in itself a problem, no more than the inner rings of a tree present a problem to the branches. In the context of a living tradition, the old and the new are one, with the old continuously watering the new at the same time as the new keeps the old alive. As long as Cappella Romana continues its work, there is good hope, I think, that the Byzantine chant tradition will not only stay alive, but will grow and thrive for some time yet.” —Benedict Sheehan, Orthodox Arts Journal

Read the full review and essay on the Orthodox Arts Journal

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