Concert Review

25th Anniversary Season Opens This Weekend!

Cappella Romana 25th Anniversary Season

Cappella Romana 25th Anniversary Season

This Weekend: Opening Concerts of Cappella Romana’s 25th Anniversary Season!

Orthodox Music: Ancient & Modern

A reprise of Cappella Roman’s debut performance, which was given in 1991! The program includes selections from Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, rarely heard Byzantine chants from Constantinople, and Greek American choral works.

25th Anniversary Features in the News!

Pre-Concert Talk

Alexander Lingas
Orthodox Music & the Concert Hall: Some Reflections on the Last 25 Years
Dr. Alexander Lingas, Cappella Romana Founder and Artistic Director

Free 30-minute talks given one hour prior to each performance

Seattle
Friday 23 September, 7:30pm
St. James Cathedral
TICKETS

Portland
Saturday 24 September, 4:00pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
TICKETS

night-on-aegean

A Night on the Aegean: 25th Anniversary Gala

Following Orthodox Music: Ancient & Modern the opening performance of Cappella Romana’s 2016-17 Season

Seattle
Friday, September 23, 2016
St. James Cathedral
804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
TICKETS

Portland
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
147 NW 19th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
TICKETS

Unable to be there in person?

Make a gift today in honor of our 25th Anniversary:

And follow along throughout the weekend with the #CR25 hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Il Giornale Della Musica Reviews Utrecht Early Music Festival

crwillibrordkerkseptember2016img_0846-web

crwillibrordkerkseptember2016img_0846-web
An Utrecht Early Music Festival mention for Cappella Romana in the Italian outlet Il Giornale Della Musica:

“The connection of the Republic of Venice with the Adriatic, and more generally, Mediterranean, world was well represented by an interesting concert of the ensemble Cappella Romana, directed by Alexander Lingas, centered on the presence of the liturgical Byzantine chant and the affinity between the Easter services in Greek and in Latin rites.”

See the full review

Utrecht Early Music Festival Review

7

14141634_10154478859702556_2378160545832084009_n

“For centuries Venice was politically and economically one of the most important centers of Europe, which led to a multitude of relations, for instance to the East and its dominant Byzantine culture. Due to political developments residents of eastern areas also settled in Venice, including Greeks who took their own version of the Christian faith and the accompanying liturgy with them. Cappella Romana, directed by Alexander Lingas, sang a programme with chants in Latin and in Byzantine Greek that in terms of pronunciation is more akin to modern Greek then to its classical version. The programme was divided into four chapters: Crucifixion and Deposition, Resurrection, Eucharist Songs and Hymns to the Mother of God. It revealed both the similarities and the differences. A striking feature of the Byzantine hymns are the long melisma’s which explains that pieces on a rather short text still can take quite much time. The last part of the programme included a passage with a vocalise on “terererere”; these meaningless syllables are termed teretismata and make their appearance in Byzantine manuscripts since the 14th century. Such a passage may actually be extended or shortened at will. This repertoire is particularly fascinating and largely unknown. Cappella Romana has specialized in this kind of music and recently released a CD with liturgical music from Cyprus. The style of singing is somewhat reminiscent of that of sacred music in the Russian Orthodox tradition, with an important role for the lower voices. In this concert women also participated but their role was relatively limited. The acoustics of the St Willibrordkerk was perfect for this repertoire. The performances of the Cappella Romana were extremely impressive.” —Johan van Veen, musica Dei donum

See the full festival review

Festival de Namur: Time Travel With Cappella Romana

DSC_8082

Many thanks to Kerry McCarthy for translating this wonderful review from Crescendo Magazine! Click here to read the original review.

DSC_8082

Festival de Namur: Time Travel With Cappella Romana

By Aline Giaux, IMEP reporter

Cappella Romana: Cyprus, dir. Alexander Lingas

Cappella Romana gave an extraordinary concert this Monday, July 4, at the Namur Festival. This chamber ensemble from the west coast of the United States (Portland, Oregon) offered a selection of medieval and renaissance Cypriot music, combining the polyphonic Christian songs of the Greek East and the Latin West. These specialists in their field highlighted the creative richness of the era as well as the diversity of Orthodox and Catholic music. The program was a joy for musicologists and sparked the interest of all through the magic of the surroundings and the performance. Since these chants require more reverberant acoustics than that of the church of Saint-Loup in Namur, the festival relocated temporarily to the abbey church of Floreffe. The room was set up so that the listeners were turned toward the back of the church, where they could see part of the Chagall exhibition (which continues until October 2.) In this way, they were able to benefit from both a large acoustical space and an intimate physical space.

Although the program was very specialized, it was anything but monotonous. On the contrary, it took us by the hand and plunged us into a universe which we would never have imagined to be so interesting. The vocal drone, steady and mesmerizing, seemed to perfume the air with incense and myrrh as complex and ornamented phrases rubbed against it. The voices mingled and rejoined, often in a stunning fashion. The most puzzling detail for the modern ear was doubtless the use of an unequal temperament, creating harmonic colors that are rarely heard nowadays. Recall that equal temperament, the division of the octave into 12 equal semitones, did not become popular until the baroque era, simplifying the tuning of certain instruments but leading to the loss of the “colors” specific to each tonality. The ten singers, with their rich and firmly anchored timbre, showed great expertise in sustaining a completely a cappella concert, with a beautiful cohesion at the heart of the group and a presence which kept the audience holding their breath until the end. A discovery we will not forget.

Cappella Romana will return to Liège for the Nuits de Septembre with their program “Venice in the East” (on September 3 at the Church of St. Denis.)

Frozen Music Reviews

Aalto Library

Reviews from our “Frozen Music” concert with Third Angle New Music:
Aalto Library

The Oregonian

“The transition from Lindberg’s dense, hectic music, performed in the auditorium off the library, to the sounds presented in the library proper symbolized the passage from outside world to sanctuary. … The atmosphere was one of appropriately reverential, quiet cacophony.” —James McQuillen

Read More

Northwest Reverb

“Eventually, the members of Capella Romana gathered in the center of the library for the recitation of the Gregorian Chants. I expected a lot from that ensemble and was not disappointed. The members performed the chants with a lovely tone. The concert concluded with the Rautavaara’s “The Lord’s Prayer” for mixed choir, which featured exquisite balance and faultless intonation. Given the library’s fine acoustics and spiritual nature of the work, the conclusion to the concert was most moving.” —James Bash

Read More

Benjamin Tissell Reviews Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil

steinberg group shot

A wonderful heartfelt review of our Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil concert from artist Benjamin Tissell:

“…it was with great relish that I spent last Saturday night trying to finagle my way into a choir concert for the student price. The choir was Cappella Romana, one of the best around. The piece was Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil” or “Vespers”, which is one I return to again and again. Eight rows back in the breathtaking St. Mary’s Cathedral, I sat alone. I was tired down to my bones and craving a slice of beauty, like we all do on our most run down days. And for once I was seeking it in the right place. … The “All Night Vigil” is not new to me. At least once a week it plays as the background music in my office. So I was surprised to find myself moved (deeply moved) from the first chord. It hit me in the chest, I felt stomach drop, and my breathing changed as the music washed over. I wept quietly. So did my neighbor and the man behind me. It has been a long time since I was so moved by music. A few minutes in, I closed my program, stopped following the translation, and shut my eyes. I spent the whole evening that way.” —Benjamin Tissell

Read the full piece on BenjaminTissell.com

CityArts Reviews Seattle Rachmaninoff Concert

steinberg group shot

CityArts critic Philippa Kiraly reviews Cappella Romana’s Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil performance in Seattle:

“This wasn’t a requiem, but the beautiful All-Night Vigil of Sergei Rachmaninoff was highly appropriate to the day (9/11), the occasion and the cathedral, and perfectly suited to Cappella Romana. … The Vigil is replete with colors, rhythms, textures and emotion, creating a tapestry which feels sacred and often solemn. Bailey drew a masterly performance from the choir, with the Rev. Nicholas Denysenko singing the Deacon, who leads in solo chants. The caliber of the singing, strong with rare, minimal vibrato and spot-on pitch, created pure harmonies which soared through the cathedral, while Bailey elicited expressive phrasing that enhanced every detail of the text’s meaning. … The soloists of the choir deserve mention for their movingly beautiful work: alto Kerry McCarthy, tenors Nicholas Ertsgaard, Leslie Green and David Hendrix, and bass John Michael Boyer who sang the Priest. … St. James Cathedral felt the right venue for this, and a large audience gathered to hear this profoundly moving work. At the end, after the applause, the choir sang a brief coda: a prayer in English for the dead of 9/11, sung in the same style to a standard Western melody used for funerals in the church. It felt fitting.” —Philippa Kiraly, CityArts

Read the full review at cityartsonline.com

Oregon Arts Watch Reviews Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil

rachmaninoff-allnight

Oregon ArtsWatch critic Bob Hicks attended Sunday’s All-Night Vigil concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral and took a visit to an undiscovered country:

“And that, it struck me, gets to the true meaning of “classic”: not a time period or a signifier of something ancient and therefore not quite relevant, but something that remains young and fresh and powerful, capable of inspiring and reviving no matter what its chronological age. That’s why groups such as Cappella Romana sing such things again and again: because, each time, they’re new. And that’s why audiences listen again and again: because, each time we do, we move a little farther outside ourselves, expanding subtly as we go. Yes, the future is an adventure, and artists and audiences must explore its implications. And yet the past is still an undiscovered country, even when we think we know the map.” —Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch

Read the full “A Choral Rach Around the Clock” review on www.orartswatch.org

Oregon ArtsWatch Reviews From Darkness to Light

Cappella Romana From Darkness to Light

Cappella Romana From Darkness to LightOregon ArtsWatch critic Jeff Winslow weighed in on Cappella Romana’s recent performance of Schnittke’s Verses of Repentance during our From Darkness to Light concert:

“Only a tin-eared deity could fail to be moved by such offerings. … In the final movement, over a constant drone from the low basses, the other voices, singing wordlessly with mouths closed, seemed to waft up into the heavens like clouds of incense. Consonance and dissonance were no longer distinct, but melded into one heartfelt expression that eventually found repose, not quite in, but one might say enfolded by the key of D major.… the exquisitely controlled voices and sensitive ears of quite possibly the city’s finest two dozen choral singers, carried the day and made the performance an experience which cast its spell long after the last note faded away.” —Jeff Winslow, Oregon ArtsWatch

Read the full review www.orartswatch.org

Want more experiences like this? Subscribe to our 2015-2016 Season NOW:

Seattle Subscription Portland Subscription

Series Concerts:

Good Friday In Jerusalem: Musical Time Travel

Cappella Romana Good Friday In Jerusalem — #8 Billboard Chart Debut

Cappella Romana Good Friday In Jerusalem — #8 Billboard Chart DebutOregon Artswatch breaks down our Good Friday In Jerusalem Concert saying, “Vocal ensemble’s Passion performance transports listeners to millennium-old sacred service”:

“On a strictly sonic level, the concert at Portland’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was magnificent … As with last year’s concerts of Finnish Orthodox music, it was especially satisfying to hear the singers perform music they’d already worked to a fine polish for committing to disc. The ten men filled the space with dark resonance, making effortless work of melismatic unison melodies and rock-solid drones, and the pacing was measured but unflagging. … The concert also invited a listener to delve into the expressive potential of this ancient music, a kind of artistic expression that, because the rigors and self-negating ethos of the medieval church are worlds away from the nakedly personal poetry of, say, Schubert, we have little ability to grasp. But it was impossible not to hear the laments of Mary at the foot of the cross and not be moved. … Good Friday in Jerusalem went deep, and it sounded close to the spring from which poured centuries of sacred music.” —James McQuillen, Oregon ArtsWatch

Read the full review on Oregon Artswatch

Purchase the Good Friday In Jerusalem Recording:

Stream