A Byzantine Emperor At King Henry's Court
Label: CAPPELLA ROMANA
Lingas, Alexander; Cappella Romana, members
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.