Patrick Comerford Previews Cappella Romana’s All-Night Vigil Centennial Performance And More
After attending Dr. Alexander Lingas’ Kilkenny Arts Festival lecture “The Lost Music of Byzantium” last Saturday, blogger Patrick Comerford previews Cappella Romana’s upcoming Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil concert series:
“This year marks the centenary of the All-Night Vigil, the a cappella choral composition by Sergei Rachmaninoff, his Op. 37. … To mark this centenary, Cappella Romana is opening its 24th Annual Season with Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, with performances in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, that will include psalms and hymns by Tchaikovsky and others to place Rachmaninoff’s work within its larger context.
Cappella Romana is an ensemble celebrated for its recordings of the Byzantine liturgical tradition, dating back to the great church of Aghia Sophia in Constantinople, built by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century. Some performances by Cappella Romana feature music from this tradition that has never before been heard by many, sometimes with new or rediscovered works brought to audiences by leading contemporary composers.
Cappella Romana’s Founder and Artistic Director, Dr Alexander Lingas, spoke in Kilkenny Castle yesterday [15 August 2015] about ‘The Lost Music of Byzantium’. … In his lecture, Alexander Lingas explored the traditions of Byzantine music dating back to before the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453. … He introduced us to a mediaeval musical tradition of the Greek Orthodox and Byzantine world based in Constantinople, the “New Rome,” and its Slavic neighbours. Its languages include Greek, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, Slavonic, Romanian, and, today, French and English.
He quoted Saint John Chrysostom, who wrote: “For nothing so arouses the soul, gives it wings, sets it free from the earth, releases it from the prison of the body, teaches it to love wisdom, and to condemn and all the things if this life as concordant melody and sacred song composed in rhythm.”
And the soul was aroused and given wings at yesterday’s lecture.”