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Byzantium In Rome
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1. Disc 1 - Track 1: Kontakion for St Benedict of Grottaferrata
2. Disc 1 - Track 2: Ode 1 of the Kanon for St Benedict
3. Disc 1 - Track 3: Kontakion for St Neilos fo Grottaferrata
4. Disc 1 --Track 4: Ode 9 of the Kanon for St Benedict
5. Disc 1 - Track 5: Kontakion for St Bartholomew of Grottaferrata
6. Disc 1 - Track 6: Three stichera prosomia for St Benedict
7. Disc 2 -Track 1: Ode 1 of the Iambic Kanon (Mode 4)
8. Disc 2 - Track 2: Alleluarion in Mode 1 (Ps. 32:6)
9. Disc 2 - Track 3: Ode 9 of the First Kanon of Pentecost (Mode 4)
10. Disc 2 - Track 4: Communion Verse (Ps. 142:10b)
11. Disc 2 -Track 5: Teleutaion (Small Litany and Psalm intonation)
12. Disc 2 -Track 6: Teleutaion (Stichologia)
13. Disc 2 -Track 7: Teleutaion (Glory, Both now)
This release by Cappella Romana is a previously unperformed collection of Medieval Byzantine Chant sung from manuscripts made at the Abbey of Grottaferrata in the suburban hills of Rome, which has operated continuously in the Byzantine rite since its founding before the Great Schism in 1004. During the Middle Ages, Grottaferrata was the site of an important scriptorium, the surviving manuscripts of which bear precious witness to musical repertories sung in Constantinople before the Crusader sack of 1204. Disc 1 is titled ?The Founders of Grottaferrate? and includes hymns to St Bartholomew of Grottaferrata, St Benedict and St Neilos of Grottaferrata. Disc 2 is titled ?The Feast of Pentecost? and includes festal hymnology from Grottaferrata for the major Feast of the Lord. The booklet features a substantial essay on the music and its context by musicologist and Cappella Romana artistic director Dr. Alexander Lingas, and complete original texts in Greek with English translations by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash). Photography of the Byzantine Abbey of Grottaferrata, taken on Cappella Romana's tour there in May 2006, illustrates the booklet, as well as a sample of medieval Byzantine notation (as opposed to contemporary notation in the received tradition) drawn from the opening verse of the Teleutaion in the Grottaferrata (manuscript Psaltikon Ashburnamensis 64). The 2 CDs include over 82 minutes of music.
Led by world-famous Greek cantor Ioannis Arvanitis, Cappella Romana recaptures on this recording the artistic vibrancy of medieval Italy's Greek minority with original and gorgeous 13th-century chants. Disc One is devoted to the life and work of the monastery's founders St. Neilos and St. Bartholomew, including Kontakia in their honor, and an excerpt of a Kanon for St. Benedict that was very likely composed for a Greek-rite all-night vigil at the Benedictine community at Montecassino in Sicily. Disc Two features music for Pentecost, beginning with excerpts of its two Kanons, the Alleluiarion, and the Communion Verse for the feast. The central work on disc two is the Teleutaion (Final Antiphon) of the kneeling vespers in the medieval cathedral rite, featuring extended psalmody and ecstatic settings of the angelic refrain "Alleluia," foreshadowing the transcendent ("kalophonic") chant of St. John Koukouzeles. Few recordings of Byzantine chant are, in fact, historically authentic, most reflecting the ?received tradition? or ?local practice? of the performing ensemble. The work of Ioannis Arvanitis and Alexander Lingas on this recording, to prepare for performance and then sing historic Byzantine chant from ancient manuscripts such as these is a truly commendable effort. The performance is top notch, and the sound is simply sublime.
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