A timely repeat of this 20th-century minimalist masterpiece: Arvo Pärt’s setting of the St John Passion is a mesmerizing minimalist masterpiece – with the most concentrated of musical means Pärt communicates the depth and universal spirituality of the Passion story.
The music of Arvo Pärt shimmers like the surface of the sea in sunlight: there is almost infinite and unpredictable detail: “Tintinnabuli is the mathematically exact connection from one line to another... ...tintinnabuli is the rule where the melody and the accompaniment [accompanying voice]...is one. One plus one, it is one – it is not two. This is the secret of this technique.” In Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem Arvo Pärt divides the text of the St John Passion into a narrative sung by the Evangelist Quartet with accompanying instrumental quartet, and dialogue by Jesus, Pilate and other characters sung by the soloists and chorus with organ. Rather like Brighton rock, the character of Pärt’s music in general and of Passio in particular is stamped throughout, and yet the different episodes in the narrative vary enormously in emotional intensity and acoustic texture. Arvo Pärt says: “I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me.”
Friday 12 April 2019 – 7.30pm | St Andrew’s, Brighton
Saturday 13 April 2019 – 2pm [N.B. start time change] | Trinity College Chapel, Parkville, Melbourne
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running-time: approximately 75' (no interval)
These performances of Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi (secundum Joannem) by Arvo Pärt are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty. Ltd. exclusive agent for Universal Edition of Vienna.