A Byzantine Emperor at King Henry's Court / Lingas, Cappella Romana
At the end of the fourteenth century, musical worlds collided in England as Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos spent Christmas at King Henry IV’s royal court. For the first and only time, florid chant, polyphony, royal ceremonial, and imperial acclamations from both kingdoms and rites echoed antiphonally in London’s Eltham Palace. Cappella Romana’s performance is illuminated by the latest research on historically informed performance of medieval music. Cappella Romana tells this musical story of cultural contact in international crisis with clarity and beauty.
Travel back to a Christmas like no other before or since, with music for the Nativity of Christ not heard in centuries. Vocal ensemble Cappella Romana combines passion with scholarship in its exploration of early and contemporary music of the Christian East and West. Its name refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which embraced Rome and Western Europe as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (“New Rome”) and its Slavic commonwealth. A Byzantine Emperor at King Henry’s Court is Cappella Romana’s 30th release.
What is most striking here is that Cappella Romana, although deeply immersed in Byzantine ways of singing, also accomplishes a very different and distinctive sound for the English pieces, adding an appealing bit of gravel in the texture. As with other Cappella Romana recordings, this one was splendidly recorded at the Madeleine Parish in Portland, Oregon. With detailed booklet notes exploring the various issues involved, this is a unique and fascinating medieval release.
-- AllMusic.com (James Manheim)
Release Date: February 03, 2023
Catalog Number: CR427
Label: Cappella Records
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Xenos Korones, Agathon Korones, Saint John Koukouzelis, Romanos the Melodist, Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cappella Romana