"I am delighted to welcome into the world this wonderful new recording of Orthodox choral music by Nazo Zakkak—Luxari. Nazo has managed, once again, to compose music that is fresh, enticing, and pious at its spiritual and creative core. The words are never obscured by musical invention, and the music flows with ease and purpose. The performance is clean and never detracts from the music. The time is ripe for a young American composer to invest his considerable talent into the creation of a new sound for the Orthodox Church--one that builds its character upon worthy traditions and, at the same time, seeks to create something new. Nazo has found a perfect balance between tradition and invention, and he has seized the moment. We are fortunate to have him in our midst and to welcome this delightful recording as we move forward."
-Peter Jermihov, Conductor, Founder and Artistic Director of Society of Saint Romanos the Melodist
"The liturgical music of Nazo Zakkak represents a valuable contribution to the small, but growing body of Orthodox choral music written organically from English texts. The composer’s natural gift for writing beautiful melodies and phrases in English is readily apparent throughout this recording. Zakkak’s work might be seen as a combination of influences, although none of them jump out of the texture any obvious or artificial way. Those familiar with linear tradition Orthodox chant will find much to appreciate here. The fluidity of the vocal line is an unmistakable aspect of composer’s aesthetic reference point. And while the melodies themselves are quite attractive, the most distinctive quality of this writing is how the composer embroiders these melodies with a distinctively fresh harmonic color. Zakkak’s work is neither traditional nor contemporary; and yet, neither is it somewhere in between. Instead, it lies somewhere completely outside of these two polarities, and for an Orthodox composer, perhaps this is the best place to be."
-Kurt Sander, Composer