Cappella Romana first performed “Venice in the North” at the 2016 Early Music Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands). Make your April complete with this remarkable music!
An exploration of Russian Orthodox choral works from the Imperial Court Chapel in Saint Petersburg, by the Venetian Classical masters employed there under Catherine the Great.
“Venice in the North” explores revolutionary trends in 17th- and 18th-century Russian sacred music, featuring compositions for Orthodox services by Venetians Giuseppe Sarti and Baldassare Galuppi, and Galuppi’s star Ukrainian student Dmitri Bortnyansky.
Especially in Saint Petersburg, the liturgical arts of architecture, iconography, and singing displayed influence from the Baroque culture of the West, evident in music from the cultivation of Italian and Central European polyphonic styles.
The logo for Cappella Romana’s Arvo Pärt Festival, which begins on Sunday, has some hidden meanings we’d like you to notice.
First, the P in Pärt and the T in Festival are aligned in order to form a Staurogram, a ligature in ancient Christian manuscripts for the noun “cross” or its verb form “crucify.”
The V, Ä, and V are also aligned in order to form the early Christian “fish” or ichthys symbol. The ichthys made its first appearances as early as the 2nd century.
The final embedded element in the logo is the vertical word “ora,” which is the imperative form of the verb “pray” in Latin.
The music of Arvo Pärt is also embedded with initially hidden meanings and structures – which we hope you will discover during the festival!
The Arvo Pärt Festival
The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Estonian Orthodox composer Arvo Pärt will take place February 5 – 12, 2017 in Portland, Oregon, presented by the Northwest’s leading professional chamber choir, Cappella Romana. Arvo Pärt is the most performed living composer in the world. Full information.
The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.
The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.
The Arvo Pärt Festival also features two free public lectures, including “The Words Write My Music,” by Peter Bouteneff, professor of theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York and author of the new book Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence.
“When Alexander Lingas moved to San Francisco in 1990, the Greek Orthodox cathedral where he’d just been appointed associate cantor lay in ruins, devastated by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Lingas wanted to help the church rebuild – and the only contribution he could offer was music.
The Portland native had sung in his Greek Orthodox church, with local choir Cantores in Ecclesia and with the Portland State Chamber Choir. So he and his Portland musical friends piled into a van and headed south to perform a benefit concert. The church offered them lodging and a lavish, post-concert spaghetti dinner with freshly cured Greek olives.
After hearing the Northwesterners sing Greek Orthodox music from ancient Byzantium as well as contemporary Greek-American composers and more, nearly 300 listeners donated money for cathedral reconstruction. Lingas and friends decided to keep making music.…” —Brett Campbell, The Oregonian
Listen to Artslandia’s Susannah Mars interview with Alexander Lingas about our 25th Anniversary and this weekend’s New Mystics program on “Adventures in Artslandia”:
New Mystics From East & West
Our season closes with a program of music by two important modern voices: the Greek Orthodox composer Michael Adamis and Scottish Catholic James MacMillan. The choral works of both composers share a deeply personal quality and a rare devotion to ancient chant: Byzantine for Adamis and Gregorian for MacMillan. Colorful sonorities and intricate structures give the music of each an unmistakably mystical quality.
Let yourself be swept away by the power of ancient chant for Epiphany
Alexander Lingas conducting the Epiphany program in 2001
New Year’s Weekend
Epiphany: Medieval Byzantine & Old Roman Chant
Cappella Romana’s specialist ensemble of Byzantine cantors perform Epiphany: a program of Medieval hymns and psalms for the feast of Epiphany, including examples sung directly from 11th-century manuscripts. The program was the first all-chant concert given by Cappella Romana and premiered to sold out audiences during the 10th Anniversary Season in 2001.