Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia - Billboard #1


Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia … brings to life the stately mystery of Byzantine cathedral liturgy, bathed in the glittering acoustics of the space for which it was written … Chords unfurl in reverberant bloom.…The New York Times

my whole body shivered and the tears started up… as voices reverberated across every surface and light filtered through the smoke behind the singers, I looked around and saw many cheeks that were glistening. I wasn’t alone. It was everywhere, these tears, so I decided to stop trying to hide it, and just listen.” —Katie Herzog, The Stranger

“The sound is extraordinary. … arrives at a triumphant conclusion” —Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound

It’s Art, it’s history, it’s technical advancement, it’s Magic! … With 14 male and female voices covering the entire range from the very low bass upwards, they bring the listener under a mystic spell…” —Adrian Quanjer, HRAudio

The dome catches the sound like ascending breath and sends it showering back down like a sonic waterfall… The ensemble’s sound is rich and radiant, the sonic equivalent of the gold leaf that dominated the iconography of this tradition. They sound like light filtering through stained glass, glinting off of tiny dust particles as they float away. I wonder how the acoustical space might differ if it also recreated the building full of worshipers. … For the novelty of its digital recording process, attempts at historical recreation, and preservation of this repertoire, the album would be worth hearing. The quality of its musical creation, however, cements it.” —Karen Cook, Early Music America

“an extraordinary feat… Stunningly convincing sounds emerge as these accomplished experts in medieval Byzantine chant flow seamlessly through eastern inflections with marmoreal vocal qualities in material impeccably researched and unimpeachably convincing. … They claim that this will ‘transport you back in time’ – a clichéd boast which for once is under-inflated. No chant enthusiast should be without it.” —Rebecca Tavener, Choir and Organ

“The sonic ambiance of the recording (on the CD and the Blu-ray) is especially vivid and does truly enhance the spiritual quality of the music and allows our ears to travel to a place where these chants have not been heard for centuries.American Record Guide

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “A splendid evocation of the great basilica of Hagia Sophia and one of the important feast days of the year”
“In the end the haunting beauty of the music makes this a worthy investment.Fanfare

“I’m fortunate to live in Portland, Oregon, where Cappella Romana is based, and I can tell you from personal experience their live concerts are often amazing, even if they’re not, as in this instance, absolutely drenched in the reverberant atmosphere of Turkey’s iconic Hagia Sophia cathedral, which is, as indicated above, “re-created” digitally for this often astounding release. … This is a stellar release all around, and Cappella Romana: Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia comes Highly recommended” —Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-Ray.com

“This release re-creates medieval sound and ritual in the monumental sixth-century cathedral as an aural virtual reality.” —Lisa Flynn New Release Pick (WFMT Radio)

“The Blu-ray includes, along with one additional track that didn’t fit on the CD, a 20-minute “making of” documentary that I found absolutely fascinating. … Cappella Romana’s remarkable revival of the “lost voices” of Hagia Sophia is a revelation in both sonic and artistic terms. I can only imagine its impact on an observant Eastern Orthodox churchgoer. But you need bring to this recording no religious feeling, nor any familiarity with any particular tradition, to appreciate and enjoy it immensely for its sheer musical beauty. If you’re already interested in ancient music in general, or in Byzantine culture and history, that will only enhance your appreciation further.” —Jon Sobel, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“It is a collection of music as valuable to our understanding and appreciation of the art of the Byzantine Empire as a restored mosaic or reconstructed cathedral.” —Josh Jones, Open Culture

“listening to this ravishing music is an enrichment unlike any other. … it shimmers, it stuns, it absorbs the body. … The presentation is FIRST CLASS! This is one of the most unusual and rare perspectives ever to surface in the Early Christian Byzantine era. … Alexander Lingas and the 14-member Capella Romana have made a historic reawakening.” —Christie Grimstad, ConcertoNet

“This is the Byzantine chant album that aficionados have been waiting for and will be of interest far beyond the true believers. … perhaps the most spectacular recording ever of Byzantine chant, and one of the most remarkable surround sound recordings I have heard.” —Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The singing of Cappella Romana is superb from start to finish… The demonstration-class recorded sound enhances their performances greatly. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a disc like this but it’s a real ear-opener and a formidable achievement.” —John Quinn, MusicWeb International (RECORDING OF THE YEAR)

“From the first note, we hear dedication, focus, energy, a balanced and measured concentration on – as far as is possible in our noisy world – how the monks and lay staff of the Hagia Sophia would surely have gone about their worship. Just as pleasingly, these performances gently also suggest why they did so. Cappella Romana’s understanding of – and dedication to – the idiom sees to that.” —Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International

“Capella Romana creates an audio experience that few if any listeners will have ever heard. These disembodied voices, evoking the holy spirit of God, seem to come from everywhere and totally envelop the audience. … In short order, you will be transported to a literal and figurative audio heaven. Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia also will take you on a moving spiritual journey that will stay with you long after the final echoes have receded into the distance.” —Lawrence D. Devoe, TheaterByte

“What’s heard here is a pioneering endeavor… Even the basic CD yields remarkable sounds, and for audiophiles with the equipment and wherewithal to go deeper, this will be an essential purchase. … Cappella Romana has a remarkable sound with lots of head tones, and even listeners with no interest in the engineering wizardry will find the singing and the music compelling. An extraordinary release.” —James Manheim, AllMusic

“The excellently trained singers manage to give life as well as a sense of space to the interplay between long tones of the fundamental and fifth and the euphony of the melody… the architecture, the technology and the arrangements contribute to create a unified listening experience. … high quality and innovative performances” —Harold Jers, International Choral Bulletin

In Greek / Στα ελληνικά:

Πρόκειται για ένα αριστούργημα, καλλιτεχνικό, τεχνολογικό και θεολογικό. Η Cappella Romana θα μπορούσε να φέρει την Αγία Σοφία στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής ή στην Εθνική Λυρική Σκηνή, εάν προσκληθεί, όταν φυσικά αρθούν τα ειδικά μέτρα που ισχύουν αυτή την εποχή.”

It is a masterpiece–artistic, technological, and theological. Cappella Romana could bring Hagia Sophia to the Concert Hall or the National Opera [in Athens], if invited, when, of course, the special measures in force at the time are lifted.” Καθημερινή Kathimerini.gr National Greek Press

Αφήστε το δέος να σας πλημμυρίσει, βυθιστείτε στη μυσταγωγική ατμόσφαιρα και ξαφνιαστείτε μαθαίνοντας πως έτσι ακριβώς ακούγονταν πριν οπό αιώνες οι βυζαντινοί ύμνοι μέσα στον επιβλητικό ναό που χτίσηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη πριν από σχεδόν 1.500 χρόνια.”

Let awe flood over you, immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere and be surprised to learn that this is exactly how Byzantine hymns were heard centuries ago in the imposing cathedral built in Constantinople almost 1,500 years ago.” ΤΟ ΒΗΜΑ / TO VIMA National Greek Press

“Το αποτέλεσμα της μελέτης είναι πράγματι εντυπωσιακό

“The result of the work is really impressiveCNN Greece!


Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia: Medieval Byzantine Chant

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia is the first vocal album in the world to be recorded entirely in live virtual acoustics. It brings together art history, music history, performance, and technology to re-create medieval sacred sound in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia as an aural virtual reality.

With a stunning reverberation time of over 11 seconds, the acoustics of Hagia Sophia were measured and analyzed, and auralized in real-time on Cappella Romana’s performance by the Icons of Sound team at Stanford University (iconsofsound.stanford.edu).

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia presents more than 75 minutes of medieval Byzantine chant for the Feast of the Holy Cross in Constantinople, one of the greatest celebrations in the yearly cycle of worship at Hagia Sophia. This deluxe package (CD and Blu-ray™) contains standard- and high-resolution stereo and surround-sound formats including Dolby Atmos™, as well as a bonus track and a 24-minute documentary film.

Enrich your experience of the music with in-depth essays, musical examples, and illustrations about the project in a 40-page booklet, which also presents all original Greek texts with translations in English. For a thousand years, Hagia Sophia was the largest enclosed space in the world. Let Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia transport you back in time to medieval sound and ritual in this monumental sixth-century cathedral.

Recorded at CCRMA, Stanford University. Stereo version mixed & mastered at Perfect Record, St. Paul, Minn. Surround-sound version mixed & mastered at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Ltd. Company, Marin County, California.

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