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CAPPELLA ROMANA - Angelic Light - Music from Eastern Cathedrals - 618321523520 - Released: March 2012 - Valley Entertainment 2-VLT-15235

In the very early days of Eastern Christendom, it seemed that the cultural centre of the world was the Byzantine Empire. And at the core of this empire was the Church. It was believed back then that the devil and evil spirits could be chased away by music. So the Greek Church took possession and control of music and elevated it to a higher and greater level. Byzantine music was church music, and as such became timeless, spreading its influence over a period of sixteen centuries. Add to this the influence and fathomless history of the Orthodox Church, and this music seems to emanate from time immemorial and contain inscrutable mysteries. This is the foundation of all the music of Eastern Christianity, and could be seen as the counterpart to Gregorian chant. Its influence is still living today in the Greek invocative prayer Kyrie eleison.

This new CD from the Cappella Romana vocal ensemble, founded in 1991 by Professor Alexander Lingas, presents some of these ancient works along with recent choral pieces extending the tradition. They produce an a cappella sound so authentic, so slavic in nature, that you would never guess that they are based in America. This Angelic Light compilation brings together recordings from their previous releases, and forms a 'greatest hits' package if you may. From the deep awe-inspired reverence of the Cherubic Hymn to the time-travel experience of the Kontakion of the Mother of God, their perfect blend, balance, and depth of expression, may well invoke in you a spiritual awareness of the timeline between the genesis of man and the present day. This music's time stamp has long faded away, and as such is immortal, and the Cappella Romana singers see it as such and make it sound as vital today as it was centuries ago.

This wonderful CD is brought to us by the same people who released the captivating series of Russian choral music titled "Sacred Treasures" a few years back, which became top sellers in the genre. Imagine ancient chant, renaissance polyphony, Arvo Pärt, Carmina Burana, and sacred liturgy all rolled into one, and you can begin to fathom the suspension of time generated by this music.

Jean-Yves Duperron - April 2012