Heaven and Earth


Album Details

EAN/UPC: 753459636084
Catalog No: CR-424
Release Date: October 14, 2022
Liner Notes

Cappella Records proudly announces the TWO-DISC release of HEAVEN AND EARTH, performed by Cappella Romana with 45th Parallel Universe, directed by John Michael Boyer.

The release also features the world premiere of Heaven and Earth: A Song of Creation, a unique collaborative setting of the Creation Psalm (103 LXX) by six acclaimed Orthodox choral composers: Tikey Zes, Richard Toensing, GRAMMY® Award nominee Kurt Sander, Alexander Khalil, Matthew Arndt, and conductor John Michael Boyer. The Saint John of Damascus Society, which promotes new Orthodox choral music, commissioned Heaven and Earth for Cappella Romana in 2013 in honor of the 2012 Higgs boson discovery.

Richard Barrett, Cappella Romana’s Director of Publications, says in his extensive essay that Ikon of Light and Heaven and Earth are “complementary musical compositions that focus on these parallel aspects of light—supernatural and natural—in Orthodox spirituality.” The two works offer a transcendent experience of musical beauty–one informed by Orthodox spirituality and influenced by the contours of Byzantine chant. Ikon of Light explores the inner, mystical illumination of the soul as described by the medieval mystic St. Symeon the New Theologian. Heaven and Earth weaves Renaissance counterpoint, Slavic harmony, Georgian polyphony, and more around a central Byzantine melodic line. The composers create a tapestry of shimmering harmonies that finds unity through diversity, underscoring the Creation Psalm’s theme: “How magnified are your works, O Lord. With wisdom have You made them all!”

Named an All Music Favorite Classical Vocal Release of 2022

Disc 1 – Ikon of Light John Tavener (1944–2013)
Cappella Romana, 45th Parallel Universe

  1. Φῶς / Phós I
  2. Δόξα / Dóxa
  3. Τρισάγιον / Triságion I
  4. Mystic Prayer to the Holy Spirit
  5. Τρισάγιον / Triságion II
  6. Φῶς / Phós II
  7. Ἐπιφάνεια / Epiphánia
  8. Disc 2 – Heaven and Earth: A Song of Creation
    Cappella Romana

  9. “Come, let us worship... Bless the Lord, O my soul”
    John Michael Boyer (1978–)
  10. “Stretching out the heavens”
  11. “The deep, like a cloak”
    Tikey Zes (1927–)
  12. “He waters the mountains”
    Alexander Khalil (1969–)
  13. “He made the moon”
    Kurt Sander
  14. “There is the sea”
    Matthew Arndt (1976–)
  15. “May the glory of the Lord endure to the ages”
    Richard Toensing (1940–2014)
  16. “Glory to the Father... Both now...”
  17. “Alleluia... Glory to you...”


innovatively programmed… Cappella Romana is an exceptional choir, and here, the group has been ideally recorded in Portland, Oregon's St. Stephen Catholic Church. Strongly recommended. (Named an All Music Favorite Classical Vocal Release of 2022) ” –James Manheim


There is such sonic beauty and musical complexity in every track that layers and layers of harmony just keep pouring out into the listening space… one listen to this disc and you will realize the spirituality in all of humanity. ” –Constantine Soo


the smooth and assured delivery of Cappella Romana keeps the work meaningful and communicative throughout… Ikon of Light is majestic, generally slow-paced, pervaded by a contagious sense of calm that creates an experience of time expansion… ” –Mark J. Estren

Choir and Organ

This [album] works well, its atmospheric component pieces both varied and unified, not least by the composers' contrasting treatments of the doxologies and Alleluias. ” –Clare Stevens

Concerto Net

this album provides a balanced program of music that is totally modern but bearing an indisputable imprint of Eastern Christian traditions. This balance and revelation is Cappella Romana’s unique gift to world music, a door opening to greater understanding and the expansion of our appreciation of beauty. ” –Linda Holt

Classical-Modern Music Review

It all is breathtaking. In its realization of the spiritual connection between voice and light for both works, we get a music of illumination and shining forth, very primary with its droning and melodic-harmonic denseness. If you know Western Organum, this is the Eastern complement historically and a delight to experience. ” –Grego Applegate Edwards