Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cappella Romana in London

Cappella Romana performed yesterday at St. Bartholomew-the-Great, London. Cappella Romana is a vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Founded in 1991, Cappella Romana’s name refers to the Medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene, which embraces Rome and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (New Rome) and its Slavic commonwealth. Each program in some way reflects the musical, cultural, and spiritual heritage of this ecumenical vision. 

The concert, entitled “Desert and City: Medieval Byzantine Chant”, was an intriguing and beautiful performance of a collection of hymns from Great and Holy Friday in Jerusalem and the Vespers of St. Catherine, transporting us to an ancient time, where the ecclesiastical music had a different form and sound in respect to the hymns chanted in Orthodox Churches today. The pieces chanted during this concert took us all back to the ancient Church, reminding us of the evolution of Byzantine music.

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