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The Fall of Constantinople
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1. Introit for Sundays
2. Hymn of the Resurrection (Mode 1)
3. Imperial Acclamations for Constantine XI Paleologos
4. Glory, Both now.
5. Kontakion of the Mother of God (Mode Plagal 4)
6. Hierarchial Trisagion
7. Dynamis - Manuel Chrysaphes the Lampadarios
8. Vasilissa ergo gaude - Guillaume Dufay
9. Hymn for Great Compline - Manuel Gases the Lampadarios
10. Apostolo glorioso - Guillaume Dufay
11. Kyrie (Cunctipotens genitor)
12. Ecclesiae militantis - Guillaume Dufay
13. Canon in Honor of Thomas Aquinas: Ode 1 - John Plousiadenos
14. Communion Verse - John Plousiadenos
15. Canon for the Council of Florence: Ode 5 - John Plousiadenos
16. Lament for the Fall of Constantinople - Manuel Chrysaphes
17. Lamentatio Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae - Guillaume Dufay
Cappella Romana explores the musical legacy of the ancient civilization of Byzantium ? caught between Latin West and Islamic East ? with majestic ceremonies for the cathedral of Hagia Sophia, triumphant assertions of superiority by Westerners, and fervent prayers for the healing of religious divisions. Fabled Byzantium ended with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks on May 29, 1453, inspiring the two poignant laments sung here that give Greek and Latin perspectives on the end of a 1,000-year-old empire. Comprehensive liner notes by Alexander Lingas, with hymn text in Greek or Latin and with English translations.
If a single word had to be used to describe this recording, it would be "exquisite," and that describes the performance, the sound and the package. Performance because the ensemble has been developing this program over a number of years and knows it cold. Sound because the execution is top notch, the church used for the recording has superb acoustics, and the recording and engineering is terrific. Package because the offering is a mix of Western Polyphony and Eastern Byzantine Chant from the period, coupled with a superb liner notes booklet ? the essay by A. Lingas alone is a lesson in history and musicology. Still, it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Many Byzantine chant fans may find the Western Polyphony by Dufay not to their taste, and vice versa for Western ears when it comes to hearing Chrysaphes, Gazes and Plousiadenos. Still it is important to note that both musical traditions were extant together and equally legitimate, and as this recording illustrates, at times they came together around single events. Unfortunately in the case of this event it was a monumental tragedy, as the music and the performance conveys.
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