After completing sessions in August for the recording “Music for the Fall of Constantinople” (produced by Grammy-award winner Steve Barnett), Cappella Romana will enter the studio again September 17-22 for a ground-breaking recording of the sacred choral works of the Rev. Sergei Glagolev (b. 1927).
The Very Rev. Fr. Sergei Glagolev is one of the most prolific and renowned composers and arrangers of Orthodox liturgical music in the United States. The first volume of the series Orthodox Liturgical Music in America (published by PSALM: the Pan-Orthodox Society for the Advancement of Liturgical Music) is devoted to the works of Fr. Glagolev, in honor of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Father Sergei Glagolev descends from a long line of Russian Orthodox priests and educators dating from the fifteenth century. He grew up in the large communities of Russian emigres in the Gary and Cleveland areas in the 1920s and 1930s. His musical education began under the tutelage of his father, but after World War II, he was educated at Oberlin, Julliard, New York University, and St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary. In 1940s New York one of Glagolev’s primary mentors was the Russian Orthodox composer Alexander Gretchaninov.
He spent 23 years in California where he and his wife were called in 1954 to organize the first English-speaking Orthodox missions. From that time to the present Father Sergei Glagolev has pioneered the use of the English vernacular in Russian Orthodox services, producing a body of beautiful choral music that until now has never been recorded by a professional ensemble.
Cappella Romana will make a CD of selected works by Fr. Sergei, with Slavic music specialist Dr. Vladimir Morosan conducting. Dr. Morosan is one of America’s leading authorities on the choral music of the Russian tradition, and is owner and editor-in-chief of the publishing house Musica Russica.
Rev. Glagolev will travel from his home in New York to participate in the recording as a soloist and advisor.
This recording is made possible by a major grant from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation as one part of a three-year initiative, “Excellence for Orthodox Liturgical Music in English.”
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Cappella Romana made its European debut in March 2004 at the Byzantine Festival in London, where the ensemble performed to over 2,000 in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Its New York debut took place in April 2004 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the exhibit “Byzantium: Faith and Power 1261-1557.” Yale University, Princeton University, the Holy Trinity Cultural Series (Indianapolis), and the Bloomington (Indiana) Early Music Festival also presented the ensemble, as will the Getty Museum in November 2004. Cappella Romana presents a regular series concerts in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, and its latest CD is “Music of Byzantium.”
Directed by founder Dr. Alexander Lingas, Cappella Romana is a vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Performing music of the Three Romes, its name is derived from the medieval concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which included not only “Old” Rome and Western Europe but also “New Rome” (Constantinople) and “Third Rome” (Moscow) and its commonwealth of Slavic countries.