The first recording worldwide of Kassia’s hymns awakens and breathes new life into their lovely and deeply moving melodies. Haunting voices and intuitive arrangements transport listeners to a long-lost age, immersing them in the mysticism of the era. This music, forgotten until today, bears living witness to a vibrant past culture. Kassia's hymns and their inspired interpretation are a true revalation.
Kassia (810-between 843 and 867), a noble from the Byzantine, not only left us with exquisitely beautiful melodies from the 9th Century, but stood as an emancipated, free thinking, and extraordinarily gifted woman, legendary in the center of intellectual and artistic life in Constantinople.
Hitherto, the works of Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) have been considered the oldest known music by a female composer. That was until Michael Popp, connoisseur and well-known performer of medieval music, came together with an antiquarian who drew his attention to Kassia and put him in touch with Diane Touliatos, an American scholar who has been busy editing Kassia’s works for some years now.
Recognising an undiscovered musical treasure in Kassia, Popp formed VocaMe, a top-flight ensemble of renowned singers from the Early Music scene. Popp took on the role of musical director for the ensemble and also made use of his expertise in various medieval instruments, providing occasional instrumental accompaniment.
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