At the Getty Villa

At The Getty-Villa_Cappella-Romana_Slider

Cappella Romana performs at the Getty Villa a program of medieval Byzantine chant from the traditions of Holy Week in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and of Pentecost in Constantinople’s Great Church of Christ, Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a millennium was the largest enclosed space in the world.

The program at the Getty Villa features Medieval Byzantine chant, the fraternal counterpart to Latin chant in the West. It opens with Holy Week-celebration music composed in and around Jerusalem from the seventh to the ninth centuries by the city’s great church fathers: Patriarch Sophronios, Kosmas the Melodist, and Saint John Damascene. The program continues with excerpts of the hauntingly beautiful hymns and psalms for Pentecost that reflect the practice of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople before the Latin conquest of 1204. These melodies are drawn from manuscripts held at the Abbey of Grottaferrata near Rome, whose library possesses one of the most important collections of medieval Byzantine chant manuscripts in the world.

Dates: Saturday, May 17, and
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Times: 7:00 p.m. on Saturday;
3:00 p.m. on Sunday
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

Admission: Tickets: $20; students/seniors $15. Available beginning Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.

The Program at the Getty Villa

Great and Holy Friday in Jerusalem

Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Typikon of the Anastasis (the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), including works by Kosmas the Melodist (8th century), Romanos the Melodist (6th century), Theophanes Protothronos (9th century), and Leo VI the Wise (866–912). The program features the famous Orthodox hymn “Semeron krematai” (“Today He who is hung upon the tree”) sung to its original medieval melody.


Byzantine Pentecost before 1204

Medieval Byzantine Chant for the feast of Pentecost, including excerpts of the Kanons for Matins, psalmody for the Divine Liturgy, and the final antiphon (teleutaion) of the Kneeling Vespers. The Abbey of Grottaferratta (Κρυπτοφέρρη) in the suburban hills of Rome has used the Byzantine Rite for over a millennium since its founding in 1004. Drawn from manuscripts made in the monastery’s medieval scriptorium, this ecstatic music for Pentecost bears vivid witness to Byzantine musical and liturgical practices preceding the upheavals of the Fourth Crusade’s sack of Constantinople in 1204. Featured on Cappella Romana’s recording “Byzantium in Rome.”

All performing editions by Ioannis Arvanitis