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 The Choir of Royal Holloway presents Arvo Pärt's PASSIO

St Bartholomew-the-Great
22/03/2017 (19:00)
Choir 1
The Choir of Royal Holloway presents Arvo Pärt’s PASSIO

 St Bartholomew-the-Great, Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ

The Choir of Royal Holloway is delighted to announce that they will be performing alongside players from the Brandenburg Sinfonia and soloists from the renowned professional choir of St Bartholomew-the- Great for an atmospheric concert of works by Arvo Pärt, Antonio Lotti, Gregorio Allegri, Henry Purcell and Ben Parry.

Performed by candlelight in the medieval surroundings of London’s oldest surviving church, the concert will be a showcase of some of the greatest pieces of Lenten choral music ever composed. Beginning with the haunting simplicity of Gregorio Allegri’s famous Miserere and its high soprano line, the concert will also feature Arvo Pärt’s extraordinary 1982 setting of the Passion according to St John. Whilst there are few post-Baroque Passion settings that can be said to reach the heights of Bach’s masterpieces, the Passions of St Matthew and St John, Arvo Pärt’s Passio is an audacious and profoundly moving work that undoubtedly ranks as one of the greatest composed in recent times.

At just over an hour in length, Pärt composed his Passio for choir and soloists, with violin, cello, oboe, bassoon and organ accompaniment. In contrast to the majority of secular compositions of the 18th and 19th centuries, Pärt’s Passio setting conveys almost no sense of drama or distinguishable emotions; instead the emphasis is placed on creating a sense of time and awareness, through which the nuances of the text can be explored. Against a slow moving tide of hypnotic musical undulations, or “tintinnabulation”, the suffering at the heart of the Easter story gradually unfolds and connects with the listener in an intensely powerful way. The voice of the Evangelist is sung by a vocal quartet which will be sung, along with the roles of Jesus and Pilate, by soloists from the Choir of St Bartholomew-the-Great.

The Choir of Royal Holloway is considered to be one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in Britain. Their recordings on the Hyperion label have attracted top reviews from all major music publications. The Choir gives over 50 concerts each year with a particular specialism in music from the late renaissance and contemporary music, especially from the Baltic states. They are the only British choir to have had a recording voted in the top 10 of the best all-time recordings of Estonian music by the Estonian public.

The Director, Rupert Gough, says “as a conductor I have always been struck by how different audiences are always captivated by the drama of the passion story and never more so than in this austere setting by Arvo Pärt. I am looking forward to feeling this sense of awe in the remarkable medieval surroundings of London’s oldest church”. This is the first concert Rupert Gough has conducted at St Bartholomew-the-Great since taking up the post of Director of Music alongside his role at Royal Holloway.

Tickets: £23, £18, £5. Available from the box office: 07528 776625

More information available from:www.brandenburg.org.uk/bcf-concerts/2017/3/22/passio



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