Tage Alter Musik Festival Review

Mittelbayerische Zeitung with a review of our Tage Alter Musik Festival performance in Regensberg, Germany (translated into English by Dr. Constantine Kokenes):

View the review in original German on www.mittelbayerische.de

Sounds from Mount Sinai

U.S. based ensemble Cappella Romana in their first performance in Germany as part of the early music festival, Tage Alter Musik: vocally powerful Byzantine chant

REGENSBURG It was rather tough going for the first night concert of early music in the Dominican Church: One and a half hours of concentrated Byzantine chant and vocal power with unrelenting intensity. The more subtly oriented Gregorian ear first had to get used to the somewhat rougher pace but the trip from West to East Rome was worth it.

For over 20 years under its director Alexander Lingas, the American group Cappella Romana has produced more than a dozen CDs of eastern Christian music; they have now been heard in Germany for the first time. The singers performed music from the Monastery of St. Catharine at the foot of Mount Sinai which is a place sacred to pilgrims as the spot where God had appeared to Moses in the burning bush.

The Regensburg program consisted of Vespers for the feast of St. Catharine and a liturgical drama about the Three Children in the Fiery Furnace. This is extremely interesting and artful music with distinctive, expressive and at times melismatically rich melody executed in concise rhythm. Through the use of the drone, continuous sonic spaces and larger connected complexes were produced, organically binding together solo and tutti passages. And Cappella Romana rendered all this in full-bodied sound with great skill and unflagging enthusiasm. — Randolf Jeschek