Good Friday in Jerusalem


Album Details

EAN/UPC: 888295187985
Catalog No: CR-413
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Liner Notes

Alexander Lingas, artistic director and soloist; Stelios Kontakiotis, principal soloist; Spyridon Antonopoulos, John Michael Boyer, Constantine Kokenes, Mark Powell, melodists; Theodor Dumitrescu, David Krueger, Adam Steele, David Stutz, isokrates; Ioannis Arvanitis, performing editions;

Produced since 2004 by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Steve Barnett, Cappella Romana performs “music of purity and radiance” (Gramophone) in concerts of “luminous beauty” (Washington Post). Appearances in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Athens, Utrecht, Regensburg, and in the US Northwest all demonstrate how Cappella Romana “continues its ascent” (Wall Street Journal).

With Good Friday in Jerusalem, Cappella Romana’s intrepid male ensemble features international cantors from Greece, the UK, and the US, with Stelios Kontakiotis from Tinos, Greece, as principal soloist. Together they perform these chants with captivating modal inflections that underscore the deep pathos and personal drama of Good Friday. These profound selections for the 8th- and 9th-century ceremonies invoke an elaborate stational liturgy in Jerusalem’s most sacred Christian sites. Recorded in the splendid Stanford Memorial Church and sung in Byzantine Greek.

Extensive scholarly article by founding artistic director Dr. Alexander Lingas (City University London, University of Oxford), with full texts in Greek and translations in English.

    In Procession to the Mount of Olives

  1. Ἀντίφωνον Αʹ Ἦχος πλ. δʹ Antiphon 1 in Mode Plagal 4
    Ἄρχοντες λαῶν συνήχθησαν / Λόγον παράνομον / Τὰς αἰσθήσεις ἡμῶν
    Rulers of the peoples / They laid a lawless charge / Let us bring our senses
  2. At the Pavement (Lithostroton) in Hagia Sophia

  3. Ἀντίφωνον ΙΕʹ Ἦχος πλ. βʹ Antiphon 15 in Mode Plagal 2
    Σήμερον κρεμᾶται ἐπὶ ξύλου, ὁ ἐν ὕδασι τὴν γῆν κρεμάσας
    Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree
    Ὁ Σταυρός σου Κύριε / Your Cross, Lord
  4. In Procession to Golgotha (the Place of the Skull)

  5. Εἰς τὴν λιτὴν στιχηρόν Ἦχος πλ. δ´ Processional Sticheron in Mode Plagal 4
    Ὁ ἐν Ἐδὲμ Παράδεισος / The Paradise in Eden
  6. At Golgotha

  7. Τριῴδιον Ἦχος πλ. β´ Ποίημα Κοσμᾶ Μοναχοῦ (8ος αἰώνας) ᾨδὴ ε´
    Three-Ode Kanon (Triodion) in Mode Plagal 2 by Kosmas the Monk (8th c.) Ode 5
  8. Κοντάκιον εἰς τὸ Πάθος τοῦ Κυρίου, Ρωμανοῦ τοῦ Μελωδοῦ (6ος αἰώνας) Ἦχος πλ. δ´
    Kontakion on the Passion of the Lord, by Romanos the Melodist (6th c.) Mode Plagal 4

  9. Syllabic melody
  10. Psaltikon melody Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikos
  11. ᾨδὴ η´ Ode 8
  12. ᾨδὴ θ´ Ode 9
  13. Ἐξαποστειλάριον αὐτόμελον Ἦχος γ´ Exaposteilarion automelon in Mode 3
    Τὸν Λῃστὴν αὐθημερόν / O Lord, who on that very day
  14. Αἴνοι Ἦχος δ´ Lauds (Psalms 148–50, selected verses) in Mode 4
    John Michael Boyer, Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikoi
  15. Στιχηρὸν Προσόμοιον Ἦχος δ´ Ἔδωκας σημείωσιν
    Sticheron prosomoion in Mode 4, [to the melody] You have given us a sign
    Ὅτε σε σταυρούμενον, ἡ κτίσις πᾶσα ἑώρακεν / When all creation saw you crucified
  16. Στιχηρά Ἰδιόμελα Θεοφάνους τοῦ Πρωτοθρόνου (9ος αἰῶνας)
    Stichera idiomela by Theophanes Protothronos (9th c.)

  17. Πᾶσα ἡ Κτίσις / All creation was changed Ἦχος α´ Mode 1
  18. Λαὸς δυσσεβὴς καὶ παράνομος / Impious and lawless people Ἦχος β´ Mode 2
  19. Στιχηρὸν Ἰδιόμελον Ἦχος β´ Λέοντος ΣΤ´ τοῦ Σοφοῦ (866–912)
    Sticheron idiomelon in Mode 2 by Leo VI the Wise (866–912)
    Ἐπὶ ξύλου βλέπουσα / When she saw you (hanging on a cross)
  20. Στιχηρὸν Ἰδιόμελον Ἦχος γ´ Βυζαντίου
    Sticheron idiomelon in Mode 3 by Byzantios
    Δύο καὶ πονηρὰ ἐποίησεν / Israel my firstborn son
  21. Δοξαστικόν ἧχος ὁ αὐτός τοῦ Στουδίτου (9ος αἰ.;)
    Doxastikon in the same mode by a Stoudite (9th c.?)
    Ἕκαστον μέλος τῆς ἁγίας σου σαρκός / Each member of your holy flesh
  22. At the Chapel of the Holy Custody (Hagia Phylake)

  23. Προκείμενον Ἦχος πλ. α´ Prokeimenon in Mode Plagal 1
    Σύ, Κύριε, φυλάξαις ἡμᾶς / May you, Lord, guard us
    Mark Powell, deacon; Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikos

The Oregonian

The feeling is profound, devotional and powerful in its simplicity, reflecting the pathos of Good Friday ” –David Stabler

Almost Rational

Cappella Romana’s Good Friday in Jerusalem is a superb example of just how lovely this music can be. … Definitely worth a listen. Personally, I want to see them get their Grammy! Check it out. ” –Steven Bilow

Oregon Arts Watch

“On a strictly sonic level, the concert at Portland’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was magnificent … As with last year’s concerts of Finnish Orthodox music, it was especially satisfying to hear the singers perform music they’d already worked to a fine polish for committing to disc. The ten men filled the space with dark resonance, making… Continue reading Good Friday in Jerusalem ” –James McQuillen


It takes a good deal of scholarly effort to reconstruct a program like this from manuscripts in various places (some are Armenian) and at various levels of notational detail. The result, though, is spectacular ” –James Manheim

MusicWeb International

Listening to this CD especially during this Holy Week (2015) has brought it all back and the helpful diagram of the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in the booklet reminds me of the astounding church which dominates the area. ” –Gary Higginson


it is hard not feel that the work this group is doing is not only presenting music that has a veneer of inaccessibility in a way that releases its particular beauty but also allowing it to bloom and continue to evolve ” –Caroline Gill

Choir & Organ Magazine

an austere, inexorable, mesmerising Crucifixion liturgy told in the 8th-and-9th-century Byzantine chant that once resounded within Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, leading the listener through Christ's final earthly journey ” –Rebecca Tavener

Early Music Review

Alexander Lingas, in collaboration with Ioannis Arvanitis, is fortunate in being able to reify his archival researches into Medieval Byzantine chant by means of Cappella Romana's fine musical skills and their recording team ” –Diana Maynard

Early Music America Magazine

The disc, the ensemble’s 20th, was recorded in Stanford University’s Memorial Church, a space of subtle resonance that allows the music to float on a halo of sound without ever becoming hazy. The singers of Cappella Romana…sustain the long phrases with remarkable finesse and breath control, including those intrepid basses, who appear to possess endless reserves of air. ” –Donald Rosenberg

Orthodox Arts Journal

Good Friday in Jerusalem is no exception to the level of quality that audiences have come to expect from Cappella Romana’s recordings; the singing on the disc is at once rich, incisive, alive, and achingly beautiful ” –Benedict Sheehan

Audiophile Audition

what strikes me the most is the superb tonal quality of the group, rich, full, and velvety smooth… This disc is, simply, irresistible. ” –Steven Ritter