New Review for Robert Kyr: A Time for Life

Richard Barrett of the Leitourgei ka Qurbana blog has a new review for our Robert Kyr: A Time for Life release.

“I am not otherwise familiar with the work of Robert Kyr, but this intriguing collaboration with Cappella Romana and the Third Angle New Music String Quartet (actually a trio) makes me very curious to become so…

“Kyr does a very nice job of arranging these texts so that the dialogue never seems forced; he seems to want them all to speak on their own terms, in their own spirit…His music is restrained and tasteful, allowing the texts and ideas to be front and center. The ‘We forget who we are’ refrain in Part II is particularly haunting, as I suppose it should be…

“It is nice to see Cappella championing repertoire like this; it demonstrates an impressive artistic vision. Happily, the performance on the disc demonstrates a very real breadth of ability that is equal to that vision. All of the soloists do marvelously with the score; in particular, Mark Powell and LeaAnne DenBeste — who was excellent as the Mother of God soloist in the Toensing Kontakion — are excellent, with crispness of diction and clarity of voice that serves Kyr’s music very well…” —Richard Barrett, Leitourgei ka Qurbana

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Leitourgeia ka Qurbana reviews The Divine Liturgy

Richard Barrett’s Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist blog has a thorough review of our new Tikey Zes: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom recording:

“Zes’ score is a remarkable piece of sacred choral composition on its own terms, and Cappella Romana is up to its usual high standards in terms of presentation of it. … it’s an extraordinarily well-sung recording by all involved. … the care to use the recording as the opportunity to make the case for what its liturgical use could sound like is also remarkable, and a hallmark of the recording. Another hallmark of the release is an exceptionally informative booklet that provides the Greek and English text of the Divine Liturgy, as well as Lingas’ essay positioning Zes’ music in the context of Byzantine music, Orthodox music more generally, and Greek emigration to the United States. … I find it to be a worthy recording of some exceptionally beautiful music composed by a man who sincerely wants to give the best of what he has…” — Richard Barrett, Leitourgeia kai Qurbana

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Early Music America Reviews Mt. Sinai Frontier of Byzantium

Early Music America magazine has a new review for our recent Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium recording:

“The music speaks to a higher self: its target is the divine and focuses on the soul in direct union with God. One of its hallmarks is the luxurious usage of time. The repetitions of notes have an almost hypnotic effect, but in this timeless musical system, one does not “space out” but rather holds the musical vocabulary and deeply embedded symbolic intentions in an alert and focused gesture of containment…” — Paul-James Dwyer, Early Music America

Read the full review in the Winter 2013 Edition of Early Music America

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Pre-Order November Releases Today!

Our two November releases are available for pre-order direct from! Purchase today and orders will ship immediately upon release on November 12th!

Tikey Zes: Divine Liturgy

Dr. Tikey Zes (b. 1927) is the most prolific composer of Greek Orthodox liturgical music in America. This highly original Liturgy, which Zes dedicated to Cappella Romana, bears the marks of a composer long engaged with the traditions of Orthodox worship. Cumulatively opulent in its variety, level of musical difficulty and ecstatic polyphonic climaxes, this Liturgy achieves a balance of splendor with restraint that is, in an inculturated and dignified musical idiom, thoroughly Byzantine.

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Robert Kyr: A Time for Life

Commissioned by Cappella Romana and inspired by the initiatives of His All-Holiness +BARTHOLOMEW Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Robert Kyr’s A Time for Life explores the urgent issue of ecological crisis through texts from the Greek Orthodox Service of the Environment, the Bible, and Native American songs, chants, and prayers.

Booklet includes a commendation by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch +BARTHOLOMEW and essays by the Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on Environmental Issues; the composer Robert Kyr; and artistic director and conductor Dr. Alexander Lingas. Sung in English.

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ClassicalNet Review of Angelic Light

We stumbled across this older review of our Angelic Light: Music from Eastern Cathedrals compilation on the Classical review site,, and wanted to share a few wonderful quotes from reviewer Robert Cummings:

“Serenity, peace and an ecstatic religious sense permeate almost every number. … The Cappella Romana sing admirably throughout, capturing the Byzantine style with a masterly sense. … All in all then, this is a fine release that should appeal to admirers of Byzantine-style hymns and chant.” —Robert Cummings,

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Looking Back at A Time For Life

As we look forward to our May 2014 performance of Robert Kyr’s A Time For Life with the Third Angle New Music Ensemble, have a look back at an Oregonian review of our world premiere concert:

“During an hour of music, the eight excellent voices of Cappella Romana (sopranos DenBeste and Stephanie Kramer, altos Jo Routh and Tuesday Rupp, tenors John Michael Boyer and Leslie W. Green, baritone Mark Powell and bass David Stutz) lapped the walls with words from Sioux and Eskimo prayers, biblical psalms and Greek Orthodox texts. Three Renaissance stringed instruments (played by the superb Margriet Tindemans, Shira Kammen and David Morris) summoned the ancients while grounding the singers’ voices in rolling chords. A useful musical reference here may be the mystical music of Arvo Part and Henryk Gorecki.

Slants of melody set the mind adrift. If a million solar systems are born every hour, how many may have burst into being during the five-lined Navajo chant “Restore my feet for me?” as voices overlapped in canon?

A moment of beauty arrived with an Ojibwa prayer: “In all creation, only the human family has strayed from the Sacred Way.” We had just heard Green and Powell howl at the shepherds who neglected their flocks –a rousing duet, expertly sung –when the mood shifted to supplication, as all eight voices pleaded for compassion “so we may heal the Earth.” The music broadened like a river delta with DenBeste’s bell-like voice again soaring on high.

By the end of the piece, with an inventory of crimes stacked against us, Kyr let us off gently. Flooding the church in a confluence of voices and instruments, the music swelled in homophonic splendor as the singers turned to the audience, singing, “Beauty before me, beauty behind me.”

It’s not a mystery, Kyr was saying as the singers walked slowly back up the aisles. The music tells us how to behave.” —David Stabler The Oregonian

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Call Today For Tickets & Subscriptions: 503.236.8202 | 800.494.8497


8pm, Fri., May 2, St. Mary’s Cathedral


8pm, Sat., May 3, St. Joseph’s Parish, Capitol Hill

*Free pre-concert talks one hour prior to each performance

Looking Ahead to the New Year!

The New Year is upon us, and it’s set to be an exciting one for Cappella Romana! Take a look at some upcoming highlights:

Rachmaninoff Liturgy

Cappella Romana presents Rachmaninoff’s first major a cappella work, his 1910 Divine Liturgy.

Read Fr. Ivan Moody’s notes on this wonderful work!

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8pm, Fri., Jan. 11, St. Mary’s Cathedral
8pm, Sat., Jan. 12, Holy Rosary Church, West Seattle
Portland (matinée)
3pm, Sun., Jan. 13, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Free pre-concert talks one hour prior to each performance.

Stanford University Residency:

February 1st, Cappella Romana will perform in Stanford University’s new Bing Concert Hall which opens in January! Cappella Romana will perform the “From Constantinople to California” program amid acoustics electronically enhanced to simulate the lush resonances of the ancient Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey in collaboration with faculty in Art & Art History and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

February 2nd, Cappella Romana will present a concert in the Stanford Memorial Church featuring our “Byzantine Holy Week in Jerusalem” program.

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Renaissance Easter in Spain and Portugal

Featuring Queen’s College Oxford, and Contrapunctus director Owen Rees

Experience the feast of the Resurrection through the lens of soaring polyphonic
motets by the great Spanish and Portuguese composers Francisco Guerrero, Duarte Lobo, and Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Tage Alter Musik – Regensburg, Germany

Tage Alter Musik – European Tour

Cappella Romana makes its Germany Debut in Regensburg! Presented by the Tage Alter Musik Festival, Cappella Romana will perform the Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium repertoire!

May 17, 2013

From Constantinople to California

Our LIVE IN GREECE program goes to the National Conference of Chorus America in Seattle!

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Happy New Year!!!!!

Cyber Monday – Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium

One of the premiere recordings available in our Cyber Monday Week Sale is our recent recording Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium!

Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium

Cappella Romana performs exquisite Byzantine musical treasures—from the cathedrals and monasteries of the Eastern Roman Empire—preserved from destruction in the Egyptian desert at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai.

Features music for the medieval celebration of Vespers in honor of St. Catherine, and Byzantium’s only liturgical drama, the Service of the Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace.

Music originally commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles for its mega-exhibition “Icons from Sinai.”

“There are several musical textures in the Furnace section, solo to choral, syllabic to highly melismatic, and they’re all handled with beautiful musicianship and and some of the best male ensemble singing you’re ever likely to hear on a CD.” — Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist

“Drawn from medieval manuscripts fortunately preserved in a Greek Orthodox monastery at Mt. Sinai, the unison chant-like melody over a mesmerizing vocal drone somehow never grows tiresome, either live or on this splendid recording, which wisely preserves the cathedral echo and resonance listeners would hear live — now or a millennium or more ago.” — Oregon Arts Watch

Order Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium and One or More CDs and get 50% Off your Entire Order on during our week-long Cyber Monday Sale with promo code “2for1” — offer ends Friday, November 30th at Midnight!

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Reviews LIVE IN GREECE

Grego Applegate Edwards Classical-Modern Music Review Blog features new Cappella Romana release LIVE IN GREECE, and ends with quite the statement:

“This is music of endless fascination, performed with impeccable attention to detail. Cappella Romana live up to their reputation as the foremost representatives of the Byzantine choral tradition.”

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In Communion Features Angelic Light as Recommended Reading

In Communion, a site of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, has published a 2012 list of “Recommended Reading” and included our recent release “Angelic Light.”

“The famous line from the first Blues Brothers movie: AWe have both kinds of music”—in that case, Country and West-ern—could also apply to Capella Romana. Under the leadership of founder and conductor Alexander Lingas, the singers expertly perform traditional Byzantine chant, skillfully embellishing the sonor-ous timbre of this ancient Eastern music. The example included on this recording is the Kontakion of the Mother of God for a hierarchical service dating around 1450…

“Capella Romana does a great service to many. The singers introduce Byzantine chant in its most traditional form to those who have never heard it; they present beautiful polyphonic settings of liturgical texts for those Orthodox worshipers who have never heard this kind of beauty in church; and they provide inspiration for choir singers and choir directors who strive to reach perfection in their more humble circumstances. And for those who merely wish to hear the most angelic sounds that a well–trained choral group can produce, Capella Romana will fit the bill. And they sing both kinds of music!” — Kh. Rebecca Alford, In Communion

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