Cappella Romana singer Kerry McCarthy wins major award!

Kerry McCarthyCappella Romana singer Kerry McCarthy, a graduate of Reed College and Stanford University, recently returned to Portland, OR after 11 years of teaching music history at Duke University. She is known for her work on early English music, and has just been awarded the 2014 ASCAP Nicolas Slonimsky Outstanding Musical Biography Award for her book Byrd, published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. Kerry received the honor in a ceremony in New York on November 12th. Find her book here.

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Save the Date — #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

SAVE THE DATE!

After Two Days of Shopping, #GivingTuesday is a day to give back

December 2nd, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a global movement born in 2012 to shine a light on giving back. Make a gift to Cappella Romana by December 2nd.

#GivingTuesdayIt is a holiday designed to rival Black Friday and Cyber Monday: a day to focus on what really matters.

Save the date and follow the Cappella Romana countdown to #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter!

Join the movement and participate in Giving Tuesday by making a contribution to Cappella Romana on or before December 2nd.

Ways to Support Cappella Romana

Cappella Romana Boston-Chicago Tour Photos

Enjoy this photo gallery from our Boston-Chicago Tour!

Boston & Chicago Tour — November 14-16

Cappella Romana travels to Boston TODAY (through the Arctic Blast!) and makes its Chicago debut on Sunday

Keep up with the tour on Facebook & Twitter

Boston Byzantine Music Festival

Boston

On Nov. 14, The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art & Culture presents Cappella Romana in concert, as part of the Second Boston Byzantine Music Festival. Events also include presentations by Dr. Alexander Lingas and John Michael Boyer.

Art Institute of Chicago

Chichago

Chicago Debut!

On Nov. 16, The Art Institute of Chicago presents Cappella Romana in concert to accompany the touring exhibition “Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Art from Greek Collections.” Information and tickets.

The Fall of Constantinople

Cappella Romana sings Царју Небесни Carju nebesni (Heavenly King) by Josif Marinković

Cappella Romana sings Царју Небесни Carju nebesni (Heavenly King) by Josif Marinković (1851-1931) during the “Sacred Songs of Serbia” concert at St. Joseph’s Parish, Seattle on October 24, 2014 under the direction of Bogdan Djaković:

Sacred Songs of Serbia Featured on Portland & Seattle Radio

We are pleased to share that KING FM’s Northwest Focus and AllClassical Portland’s Northwest Previews have chosen to feature Cappella Romana and our Sacred Songs of Serbia concert series!

Northwest Focus

Wednesday, October 22
Mirolybov: Kiitosstikiira (Cappella Romana’s recording) at approximately 9:26pm

Listen

Northwest Previews

Thursday, October 23 — 6pm
Tune in for an exclusive interview with guest conductor Bogdan Djaković!

Listen

Sacred Songs of Serbia:

Seattle

TICKETS

Friday, 24 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Joseph’s Parish

Portland

TICKETS

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Bogdan Djaković Works with Cappella Romana

A short interview and quick rehearsal look-in from this past weekend:

Sacred Songs of Serbia:

Seattle

TICKETS

Friday, 24 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Joseph’s Parish

Portland

TICKETS

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Sacred Songs of Serbia — Program Notes: Part Two

Bogdan Djakovic | Sacred Songs of Serbia

Sacred Songs of Serbia

Serbian Chant and Church Choral Music

Part One
Polyphonic singing appeared for the first time in Serbian churches in the 1830s as a result of European and Russian influence. The expansion of newly organized Serbian church choirs was enormous and very soon the main problem was the lack of indigenous sacred choral repertoire. With a restricted choice, these choirs used for the liturgy compositions by Russian and lesser known local, foreign authors – Gottfried Preyer and Benedict Randhartinger in Vienna, Francesco and Guieseppe Sinico in Trieste and Wilhelm Weiss von Berenfels in Petrinja. All these works were written without recourse to the traditional chant. In the early 1850s, a Serbian musician born in Budapest, Kornelije Stanković (1831-1865) who studied composition in Vienna, for the first time wrote down the chant in Western notation and harmonized it. His composition It is meet and right represents one of the most popular 4-part arrangements of a Serbian liturgical melody, believed to have been composed by a Serbian bishop and a well known Latin classical poet, Lukijan Mušicki (1777-1837).

Very much dedicated to romantic music genres (Lieder, music for the theatre, piano music, romantic and patriotic secular choral works) Josif Marinković (1851-1931), a Prague music student and the enthusiastic listener to Eduard Hanslik’s lectures in Vienna, in general wrote original Orthodox choral music. While the Our Father from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (1883-1889) is rather close to the 19th century Western motet, the beautiful arrangement of the traditional chant melody O Heavenly King Tone VI, shows his roots in Serbian Orthodox tradition.

The idea of Mokranjac’s (1856-1914) “classical” style in church choral music is based on the romantic style, but with classical proportions, artistic discipline and calm and subtle beauty. Besides the very good education he obtained during his studies – in Munich under Rheinberger, especially in Rome with Parisotti studying works of Palestrina and in Leipzig with Jadason and Reinecke – Mokranjac was a talented practical church musician. He always understood the chant repertoire as a tool for liturgical function, at the same time using it as his most important compositional material. In the terms of the choral structure, his typical “choral polyphony” brings delicate individualization of every choral line despite the rather complex polyphonic treatment, with its resulting stylistic purity. The most famous part from his Liturgy (1894/95) is the Cherubic Hymn based on a melody of Tone I, with its delicate use of polyphony and modal harmony. Another important part of Mokranjac’s sacred choral music are the original compositions, the “imaginative church music” that is to be found in his Opelo (Requiem, 1888). The interrupted harmonies that accompany the quasi-chant theme at the beginning of the heirmos No-one is as holy, make an unusually expressive effect, almost as though the remaining voices were “breathing”. The artistic approach in the Kontakion With the Saints is that of a very direct reaction to the text; after a short fugato, the music accompanies the spiritual content of the words in chromatic-enharmonic chord progressions, otherwise rarely used by him. The brighter sound of G major introduces the theme of eternal life. We praise Thee/Te Deum (1904) composed on the basis of the melody „Slavoslovije“ (Doxology) of the Tone VI, ranks among the best Mokranjac’s pieces. He wrote it in the year 1904 as an integral part of a repertoire prepared for the coronation ritual of the King Peter I Karađorđević. Through extraordinary sonorous and effective choral harmony it keeps the wonderful balance between the Western choral concept and the Orthodox style of chant arrangement.

Between 1918 and 1941, Serbian sacred choral music underwent a very interesting development. Through a general process of modernisation, composers’ approaches to church music were mainly artistic, though still strictly retaining liturgical function, at the same time becoming examples of contemporary musical expression, and presented mostly from the concert stage. The complex array of elements employed came from Western romantic and earlier choral music, as well as from traditional and modern aspects of Eastern Orthodox, especially Serbian, idioms. Composers moved freely through these stylistic fields, usually producing neo-romantic and eclectic pieces, mature concert-artistic works and even experimental music. In highly original pieces in particular, the lack of “chant material” was successfully replaced by the balanced treatment of all the other elements employed. In the communion hymn from his Liturgy (1931) O Lord, receive my prayer, the specific simplicity of Marko Tajčević’s (1900-1984) use of “diatonic sound with a modal flavour” often contrasts with traditional tonality. Imaginative church music also is also characteristic of Kosta Manojlović (1890-1948), who in the sphere of modality continued the style of his teacher Mokranjac, but making the polyphony more complex. His pieces With the Saints from his Opelo (Requiem, 1934) and the short Holy Serbian Saints represent the subtle modernization of this genre. Again, modality as a common harmonic idea unites the arrangements of the Troparia from Holy Friday (Noble Joseph and The Angel stood by the tomb) by Petar Konjović (1883-1971) and two heirmoi from the Easter matins, The angel cried, Tone I, and from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, All Creation Rejoices, Tone VIII, by Milenko Živković (1901-1964).

The outbreak of the Second World War, and the post-war socialist period of the second Yugoslavia, frustrated everything that had to do with the Church and church art. The turning point began in late 1980s, when all the Yugoslav nations (Croats, Slovenians, Albanians, Macedonians…) actually before the formal breakup of the federal country, strongly emphasized their own particular national values. The revival of Orthodox choral music among Serbian composers shows few mutual characteristics: strong neo-Mokranjac and neo-Russian Orthodox Choral orientation, original music without use of Serbian Chant, modal tonality, homophonic style with non-imitative polyphonic elements, or strong “concert” style. Vlastimir Peričić’s (1927-2000) harmonization of the Christmas prokeimenon Who is so great a God as our God (ps. 76:14, 15) (1998) represents a beautiful traditional approach with neoromantic harmonic language.

—Bogdan Djokavić

Sacred Songs of Serbia:

Seattle

TICKETS

Friday, 24 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Joseph’s Parish

Portland

TICKETS

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Sacred Songs of Serbia — Program Notes: Part One

Bogdan Djakovic | Sacred Songs of Serbia

Sacred Songs of Serbia

Serbian Chant and Church Choral Music

Serbian chant is a type of monodic music which has remained in use as part of the Church’s liturgy from the time of Cyril and Methodius (the 9th century) to our day. With the granting of the independence to the Serbian Church in 13th century and the gradual introduction of regional and national elements into the Old Church Slavonic language (Bulgarian, Serbian, etc), certain vernacular musical characteristics possibly found their way into Slavic versions of Byzantine chant. This came about mostly through the creation of new services in honour of Serbian saints. The most important method of transmission of these melodies has always been the oral tradition, though of course manuscripts of old Serbian Church music are extant, and serve as a guide to the tradition. They were all written in late Byzantine neumatic notation. About 140 Greek and Slavonic neumatic manuscripts from the 18th and 19th century are preserved in the Serbian monastery of Chilandar on the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos. The sticheron for St. Stephen of Dečani Rejoice, all ye western lands, Tone I, is an example of a beautiful melody based on a text from the Service of the Holy King Stephen (15th c.).

A hugely important stage in the development of Serbian chant, directly linked to the development of choral music in the 19th century, centred around the Metropolitanate of Sremski Karlovci. At the end of the 17th century, after Austria’s defeat in the Balkans, under the pressure of Turkish atrocities, the great mass of the Serbian population, organized by their Patriarch, Arsenije Čarnojević, left their ancient homeland, the region of Kosovo. These emigrés took with them the holy relics of the medieval Serbian princes and martyrs, icons, manucripts and early printed books, all of which helped them to preserve their national integrity, religious faith and distinctive culture. While coming into contact with the music of Western Europe and Russian Church music, the Serbian chant underwent some changes. There was, in fact, a process of adapting the old modal melodies to the major and minor tonal system and creating a form of chanting known as Karlovačko pojanje. The Christmas sticheron The Magi, kings of Persia, Tone V, displays a highly Eastern character through its melismatic melody. The traditional Serbian song Holy, holy, holy from the Liturgy of St. Basil, from the repertoire of veliko pojanje (Great chant) through its mixolydian melodic structure, also shows strong Byzantine roots.

—Bogdan Djokavić

Sacred Songs of Serbia:

Seattle

TICKETS

Friday, 24 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Joseph’s Parish

Portland

TICKETS

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Sacred Songs of Serbia Program

 
 

  • Rejoice, all ye western lands, Stichera, Tone I, from the Service in Honour of the Holy King Stefan of Dečani (+ 1331), melody from monastery Hilandar manuscript /3,08’
  • The Magi, kings of Persia, Stichera, Tone V, from the Christmas Vespers, Traditional Serbian Chant / 3, 20’
  • Holy, holy, holy, great, from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, Traditional Serbian Chant /4,00’
  • It is meet and right, from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Kornelije Stanković (1831-1865) / 3, 30’   (4 voices, SATB)
  • O heavenly King, Sticheron, Tone VI, from the Pentecost Vespers, Josif Marinković (1851-1931) /3, 40’ (6 voices, SSATTB)
  • Our Father, from the Liturgy of the St. John Chrysostom (1883-1889), Josif Marinković / 3, 20’
  • voice (4 voices, SATB)
  • Cherubic Hymn, from the Liturgy of the St. John Chrysostom (1894-95), Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac (1856-1914) / 7,00’ (5 voices, SATTB)
  • Opelo/Requiem (1888), Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac: (Litany) No One is Holy-With the Saints / 7,00’ (6 voices, SATTBB)
  • (Noble Joseph & The Angel stood by the tomb, Two Troparions from the Holy Friday, Petar Konjović (1883-1971) /5,00’) (4 voices, SATB)
  • With the Saints, from the Opelo/Requiem (1934) & The Holy Serbian Saints, from the Matins, Kosta P. Manojlović (1890-1949) /4,00’ (5 voices, SATBB & 7 voices SSAATBB)
  • The angel cried, Ninth Ode from the Eastern Matins, Tone I & All Creation Rejoices, Irmos from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, Tone VIII, Milenko Živković (1901-1964) / 4,00’ (4 voices, SATB + solo soprano & 7 voices SSATBB)
  • O, Lord receive my prayer, from the Liturgy of the St. John Chrysostom (1931), Marko Tajčević (1900-1984) / 4, 20’ (4 voices, SATB)
  • Who is so great a God as our God, Prokimenon (Ps. 76:14, 15) from the Christmas Vespers, Vlastimir Peričić (1927-2000) / 3,00’ (6 voices, SATTBB)
  • We praise Thee/Te Deum, Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac / 4,00’ (6 voices, SATTBB)

Sacred Songs of Serbia:

Seattle

TICKETS

Friday, 24 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Joseph’s Parish

Portland

TICKETS

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral