Neal Stephenson loves Byzantine music

Who would have thought that Neal Stephenson, one of the world’s most famous science fiction writers, would be a fan of Cappella Romana? He says his favorite type of chant is Byzantine Chant.

The music accompanying his new novel employs some singers from Cappella Romana. More info here, by its composer, David Stutz.

Living With Music:
A Playlist by Neal Stephenson

By Dwight Garner


* My favorite style of chant is Byzantine, which I learned about by attending concerts by the Portland, Oregon-based group Cappella Romana. The single most powerful piece of music I’ve heard in recent years is the “Lament for the Fall of Constantinople.” Close your eyes and you can almost see the Blachernae Walls crumbling before the onslaught of Sultan Mehmet’s colossal artillery. Cappella Romana have recorded this piece twice; I prefer the somewhat slower and longer version on their album “The Fall of Constantinople.”