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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Robert Kyr, All-Night Vigil, New Music in Eastern Orthodox Chant Style, Capella Romana, Alexander Lingas

Sometimes as we go through time and music history there are old styles of music that lurk in the background but it turns out never truly die. SUch a thing is Eastern Orthodox Chant, the ritual worship choral works that so impretantly anchor the masses of the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches. John Taverner we have seen wrote some vibrant new works in the medium and we have discussed  some of them here (see the search box above for those articles).

It turns out there is another who works in the style, a composer named Robert Kyr. I am listening to a CD of his new chant influenced sounds for a capella chorus, in a CD appropriately named All Night Vigil (Capella Records Super Audio CD with Stereo and Multi Channel Options CP-426 SACD). Capella Romana take care quite beautifully of the performances under the direction of Alexander Lingas.

The style lives with some sonorous drones, extended sustains, deeply full choral outlays and deeply meditative sobriety and jubilation, plus the welcome thickening of the palette nicely with more modern harmonic densities at times, more than we would hear in the traditional form.

If you approach the music with no particular expectations, and if you are like me, you resonate with the primalities of possibility in archaic and post-archaic tonalities through the ages, well here are some beautiful new examples I suspect you will take to.

So this one is mostly self-selecting. If you think you will like it, then trust your intuitions, if not, not. Bravo for the vocal excellence, the great audio and the finely crafted honing of the Modern in the Archaic.

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