Cappella Records has announced the two-disc release of Heaven and Earth which includes John Tavener’s masterpiece for choir and string trio, Ikon of Light.
Ikon of Light explores the inner, mystical illumination of the soul as described by the medieval mystic St. Symeon the New Theologian.
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 Orthodox choral composers: Tikey Zes, Richard Toensing, GRAMMY® Award nominee Kurt Sander, Alexander Khalil, Matthew Arndt, and conductor John Michael Boyer.
Heaven and Earth weaves Renaissance counterpoint, Slavic harmony, Georgian polyphony, and more around a central Byzantine melodic line.
The Saint John of Damascus Society, which promotes new Orthodox choral music, commissioned Heaven and Earth for Cappella Romana in 2013 in honour of the 2012 Higgs boson discovery.
Richard Barrett, Cappella Romana’s Director of Publications, explains 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.
Cappella Records is distributed by Naxos USA.