Review

Leitourgeia ka Qurbana review of Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals

Richard Barrett of the Leitourgeia ka Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist reviews Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals:

“The compilation Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals is … a demonstration that you actually can just write gorgeouspsounding Western music for Orthodox texts…

“There’s an awful lot to like about this recording; it’s a great sampling of Cappella Romana‘s polyphonic efforts, as well as of contemporary Orthodox composers in the Western world. … Standouts include track 1, a setting of the Greek text of the anti-Trisagion “As many as have been baptized” as well as Glagolev’s Cherubic Hymn, Moody’s “O Tébe Ráduyetsia” from the The Akathistos Hymn release, and Toensing’s carol “What shall we call you, Mary?” (very nice to see his vastly-underappreciated “Orthodox Christmas carols” included among such other works). Fr. Ivan Moody’s work I particularly appreciate because I think it does a nice job of showing how incorporating Byzantine melodic material can be an intentional compositional choice in the context of a broader work…”

Read the full review on www.leitourgeia.com

Purchase Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals on Amazon.com

Peter Michaelides and The Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom

Cappella Romana will be premiering a new work from Peter Michaelides during the Be Radiant, O Peoples! tour this coming weekend. So in preparation, we wanted to share this review from our 2006 release of Peter Michaelides: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom from AllMusic.com:

“Cappella Romana’s Peter Michaelides: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is a recording of an amazing, latter-day manuscript discovery: a complete Greek liturgy in the English language from 1960 by Greek-born American composer Peter Michaelides. Michaelides had studied with Ingolf Dahl and Halsey Stevens at USC and had composed his Liturgy using simple, quartal-, or quintal-based harmonies and long stretches of Byzantine chant translated into English. This manuscript had lain unpublished, and apparently unperformed, in the attic of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland, OR, when it was discovered in the early ’90s by the leader of Cappella Romana, Alexander Lingas…

“…the sound of it is pure West Coast; cool, transparent harmonies and an unhurried approach to both rhythm and the overall form of the work. Later in the 1960s, Michaelides shifted his stylistic focus to a more international style in line with what Penderecki and Xenakis were doing. However, in 1960 he was closely allied with the Greek Orthodox church in California and would remain so until his departure to teach at the University of Northern Iowa. Nevertheless, Michaelides composed this monumental 66-minute work and it wasn’t used in services at first light given that it was in English and the musical style was a little too unorthodox for churches of that day, despite its concision and obvious devotional content…

“This is a fascinating disc; usually when a new, revelatory music manuscript is turned up, the composer is long dead. In this case, Michaelides is able to witness the fruits of his handiwork some 40 years after he laid it to rest; it is likely easier now to appreciate what an original and visionary conception this was from the standpoint of the 21st century than it would have been at anytime in the 20th. The choral singing — relaxed and faithful to the extremely restrained resources of the musical text — from Cappella Romana is just right, along with the hard work handling all of the spoken and semi-sung texts by Rev. Archpriest George A. Gray III, domestikos Mark Powell, and Lingas himself, serving as the reader.” — Uncle Dave Lewis, AllMusic.com

Read the full review on AllMusic.com

Purchase this recording on Amazon.com!

Hear Peter Michaelides’ new work during the Be Radiant, O Peoples! Tour:

The Easter Canon of St. John of Damascus (8th cent.)

World premieres by: Tikey Zes, John Vergin, Richard Toensing, Ivan Moody, Peter Michaelides, and Robert Kyr.

Lincoln City
Fri., May 18, 2012, 7 pm
Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NW Hwy 101
Presented by José Solano; made possible in part by
The Oregon Cultural Trust. Tickets 541-994-9994.

Portland
Sat., May 19, 2012, 8 pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1739 NW Couch St (at 18th)

Seattle
Sun., May 20, 2012, 4 pm (matinée)
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle

Prices start at $25. Purchase Tickets Directly or call 800-494-8497 (phone service fee applies)

Discounts students, seniors, & Arts for All and student rush at door. Pre-concert talks one hour prior to concerts in Portland and Seattle.

Image Journal reviews Angelic Light

ImageJournal.org’s Image Update features a great new review of Cappella Romana’s new compilation Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals. Read an expert of the review right here, and then find the link to the full review on ImageJournal.org:

“…The great news is that our local musical gem is recording music that can be heard anywhere in the world. Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals is something of a sampler CD: the tracks are taken from a series of albums that Cappella Romana has been releasing in recent years (twelve in all since 2000)… Other pieces come directly from Orthodox liturgical services, such as communion verses and hymns to the Virgin Mary. It is fascinating to compare the four different versions on this album of the Cherubic hymn from the Byzantine Eucharist’s ordinary Great Entrance chant. “We who mystically represent the Cherubim, and who sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving Trinity…let us lay aside every care of this life so that we may receive the King of all….” Break down your inhibitions and get Angelic Light: you’ll soon want to obtain other albums by Cappella Romana.” — Image Update

Read the full review on ImageJournal.org!

Purchase Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals from Amazon.com

Be Radiant, O Peoples!

Working under Muslim rule in and around Jerusalem during the 8th century AD, St. John of Damascus—defender of icons, theologian, poet and musician—composed a radiant hymn for Easter Sunday morning, his Paschal Canon. Over the centuries his joyful verses praising the Resurrection of Christ have been adapted to countless languages and musical styles across a range of cultural traditions.

In tribute to Cappella Romana’s 20th Anniversary, scholars and composers who have contributed to the international success of the ensemble will offer settings of St. John’s masterpiece.

World premieres by: Tikey Zes, John Vergin, Richard Toensing, Ivan Moody, Peter Michaelides, and Robert Kyr.

Be Radiant, O Peoples!
The Easter Canon of St. John of Damascus (8th cent.)

Lincoln City
Fri., May 18, 2012, 7 pm
Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NW Hwy 101
Presented by José Solano; made possible in part by
The Oregon Cultural Trust. Tickets 541-994-9994.

Portland
Sat., May 19, 2012, 8 pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1739 NW Couch St (at 18th)

Seattle
Sun., May 20, 2012, 4 pm (matinée)
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle

Prices start at $25. cappellaromana.org or 800-494-8497 (phone service fee applies)

Discounts students, seniors, & Arts for All and student rush at door. Pre-concert talks one hour prior to concerts in Portland and Seattle.