Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia: Medieval Byzantine Chant


Album Details

EAN/UPC: 746839858954
Catalog No: CR-420
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Liner Notes

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia is the first vocal album in the world to be recorded entirely in live virtual acoustics. It brings together art history, music history, performance, and technology to re-create medieval sacred sound in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia as an aural virtual reality.

With a stunning reverberation time of over 11 seconds, the acoustics of Hagia Sophia were measured and analyzed, and auralized in real-time on Cappella Romana’s performance by the Icons of Sound team at Stanford University (iconsofsound.stanford.edu).

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia presents more than 75 minutes of medieval Byzantine chant for the Feast of the Holy Cross in Constantinople, one of the greatest celebrations in the yearly cycle of worship at Hagia Sophia. This deluxe package (CD and Blu-rayTM) contains standard- and high-resolution stereo and surround-sound formats including Dolby Atmos™, as well as a bonus track and a 24-minute documentary film.

Enrich your experience of the music with in-depth essays, musical examples, and illustrations about the project in a 40-page booklet, which also presents all original Greek texts with translations in English. For a thousand years, Hagia Sophia was the largest enclosed space in the world. Let Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia transport you back in time to medieval sound and ritual in this monumental sixth-century cathedral.

Recorded at CCRMA, Stanford University. Stereo version mixed & mastered at Perfect Record, St. Paul, Minn. Surround-sound version mixed & mastered at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Ltd. Company, Marin County, California.

    The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Constantinople

    From the Office of Sung Vespers

  1. Final (Teleutaion) Antiphon before the Entrance
    (Ps. 98:9), Mode Plagal 2
    MS Athens 2062
  2. Psalm 140 with Refrain (Kekragarion)
    MS Athens 2062
  3. From the Office of Sung Matins

    Antiphon 7

  4. Small litany and Old Kalophonic Antiphon, Mode Plagal 4
    MSS Athens 2601
  5. Choral stichologia (selected verses of Ps. 109–112, “Palaion”)
    After MS Athens 2061
  6. Ode 4 of the Canon of the Precious Cross
    Mt. Athos Iveron 470
  7. From the Ceremony of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

    Troparion: “Lord, save your people”

  8. Syllabic melody
    After MS Athens 2062
  9. Asmatikon melody
    Mt. Athos Lavra Γ 3 & Kastoria 8
  10. Kontakion: “Lifted Up on the Cross,” short melody, Mode 4
    St. Petersburg NLR gr. 674
  11. Sticheron, for the Adoration of the Cross
    by Emperor Leo VI “The Wise” : “Come believers, let us worship the Life-giving Cross,” Mode 2
    MS Vienna Theol. Gr. 181
  12. Selections from the Divine Liturgy

  13. Troparion instead of the Trisagion “Your Cross we Worship”
    MSS Athens 2061
    2062, and 2458; Mt. Athos Lavra Γ 3
    and Vienna Theol. gr. 185
  14. Prokeimenon: (Gradual, Ps. 98:9, 1-2), Barys Mode
    MSS Patmos 221 and Sinai gr. 1280
  15. Asmatikon Cherubic Hymn
    Part 1: Choir
    Part 4: Solo (Asma, excerpt)
    Part 5: Choir
    MS Grott. Γ.γ.1
    MS Messina gr. 161
    MS Grott. Γ.γ.1
  16. Communion Verse, “The Light of your Countenance,” Mode 4 (on Blu-rayTM disc)
    MS Grott Γ.γ.1

Documentary Film: The Voice of Hagia Sophia
Directed, Edited, and Co-produced by Duygu Eruçman; Produced by Bissera V. Pentcheva Cinematography by Meryem Yavuz, Michael Seely, and Ben Wu © 2018 Bissera V. Pentcheva

MusicWeb International

This is a recording unlike any other I’ve heard.… The music is astonishing, the performances are superb and the sound is demonstration quality. This is a formidable achievement. ” –John Quinn


Cappella Romana has a remarkable sound with lots of head tones, and even listeners with no interest in the engineering wizardry will find the singing and the music compelling. An extraordinary release. ” –James Manheim


Discs like this one that combines the very best in performance with the very best in sound are a rare source of revelation and will surely become a favorite demonstration disc at the annual audio/video trade shows. Highest recommendation. ” –Lawrence D. Devoe

The Absolute Sound

A triumph of scholarship, musicianship, and technology. … ” –Andrew Quint

MusicWeb International

If you’ve never heard anything like this before, try Lost Voices of the Hagia Sophia; the CD is generous, and well-produced with sound musical premises. It is highly likely to make you at least think seriously about searching out similar music. ” –Mark Sealey

MusicWeb International

a magnificent production. The singing of Cappella Romana is superb from start to finish – the choir comprises 14 voices but often they make a huge sound, albeit without any suggestion of forcing the tone. The demonstration-class recorded sound enhances their performances greatly. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a disc like this but it’s a real ear-opener and a formidable achievement ” –John Quinn


This new Cappella Romana offering should be a welcome addition for collectors who, like me, thrill to lossless audio, especially when it's of such evocative music with such a stunning sonic "backdrop". This is a stellar release all around, and Cappella Romana: Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia comes Highly recommended ” –Jeffrey Kauffman

Audiophile Audition

This is the Byzantine chant album that aficionados have been waiting for and will be of interest far beyond the true believers… perhaps the most spectacular recording ever of Byzantine chant, and one of the most remarkable surround sound recordings I have heard. ” –Steven Ritter

Choir and Organ

an extraordinary feat… impeccably researched and unimpeachably convincing. … No chant enthusiast should be without it. ” –Rebecca Tavener


Certainly an important release for those who appreciate early music and a must have for those teaching Medieval period music. … Highly Recommended! ” –Steven A. Kennedy