Watch a video from Cappella Romana’s 2016 Venice in the East performance at the Utrecht Early Music Festival!
April 27-29, 2018, Italy meets Greece in Venice in the East, a sonic exploration of the Greek Islands when they were ruled by the Venetian empire. Cappella Romana is reviving Renaissance music from Crete, celebrating the island’s historical significance as a vibrant hub for Greco-Italian culture.
The program features thrilling Greek and Latin music for Eastertide, including a boisterous rendition of “Christos anesti” (“Christ is risen”) for full choir. Alexander Lingas, Cappella Romana’s music director and founder, conducts.
Cappella Romana performs “Blessed is the man” by Cyrillus Kreek with renowned Finnish choral director Timo Nuoranne during the Arctic Light II: Northern Exposure concert at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington on November 17, 2017.
Cappella Romana rehearsing “Psalm 84” by Cyrillus Kreek with renowned Finnish choral director Timo Nuoranne.
The Psalms of Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek (1889-1962) take a pride of place in “Arctic Light II.” Kreek and his family converted from the Lutheran church to the Orthodox faith in 1896, when Kreek was just seven years old. His psalm settings follow Orthodox forms, which each include a traditional selection of verses along with refrains familiar to Orthodox faithful. Verses from Psalm 84 (LXX 83) heard in the video above are usually sung for a dedication of a church (“How lovely are your dwelling places”).
Kreek also has a special connection to Cappella Romana’s prior work, in that he was a student of composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory when one of his teachers would have been Maximilian Steinberg, student and son-in-law of Rimsky-Korsakov and composer of the now celebrated Passion Week, of which Cappella Romana gave the world premiere performances and world premiere recording in 2014. Echoes of Steinberg’s compositional voice can be heard in Kreek’s setting of Psalm 137 (LXX 136) “By the waters of Babylon,” which you won’t want to miss on this weekend’s program!
Arctic Light II: Northern Exposure
Renowned Finnish choral director Timo Nuoranne returns to direct glimmering sacred works from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia. With selections from Cappella Romana’s celebrated recording Arctic Light: Finnish Orthodox Music, and a Trisagion in Estonian, Slavonic, and Greek by Erkki-Sven Tüür.
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.