02. April 2011

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir Pieces of Arvo Pärt und Erkki-Sven Tüür


Kaia Urb (solo), Karoliina Kriis, Vilve Hepner, Hele-Mall Leego, Annika Lõhmus, Maarja Kukk, Kristine Muldma (Soprano); Marianne Pärna (solo), Ave Hännikäinen, Helis Naeris, Merili Kristal, Karin Salumäe, Anna Dõtõna (Alto); Tiit Kogerman (solo), Toomas Tohert, Raul Mikson, Kaido Janke, Martin Lume, Mati Turi (Tenor); Allan Vurma (solo), Aarne Talvik, Andreas Väljamäe, Rainer Vilu, Henry Tiisma, Tõnu Tormis, Märt Krell, Hideyuki Nishimura (Bass); Daniel Reuss (Director)

At the point of the coming light, between the prophecy and its fulfillment, at the transition from sin to chastity, the “great canon” is sung in orthodox monasteries and at the opening of “Imago Dei”. Many years ago in his home country of Estonia, occupied by the Sovjets at the time, Arvo Pärt came across a text of the Russian Orthodox Church that he was deeply impressed about and couldn’t let go of. The canon of penance, which is taken from one of the oldest Slavic church writings and goes back to the works of Saint Andrew of Crete (7th/8th century A.D.), revealed itself to Pärt—after its thorough study—to be intonated on the basis of its sound and linguistic flow. With the “kanon pokajanen” a form of a-cappella music of unique and individual character and in a purely sacral Slavic language arose. Truly “great” the polyphonous choir music rises from its linguistic sound qualities into an transcendental soundscape and unfolds as a purifying penance far away from lamentation and compliance at the borderline between this world and the world beyond. The music accompanies the soul on its wanderings between the praising of the Lord and the wailing about its own weakness. A song of supplication in the hope for admission to the lost paradise, sung by the world-famous Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, closely connected to this work since it was first performed by the choir in the Niguliste Church in Tallinn in 1997 and in the Cologne Cathedral in 1998. In the end, after many glowing harmonies and grinding sounds, the Holy Gate opens as if in a dimly lit church and a warm stream of light diffuses. The room of the Minorite Church opens up to a hymn of praise from orthodox liturgy, the Trisagion, intonated by Pärt’s fellow countryman Erkk-Sven Tüür. The invocation of God, which goes back to the prophet Isiah, augments to a polyphony of the Trinity, written down by Tüür in a trilinguality (triglosson) of Estonian, Russian and Greek, hoping for a comprehensive understanding of the holy message.


An extraordinary sound trip with the outstanding producers of contemporary music Manfred Eicher and musical masters like Arvo Pärt, Dino Saluzzi, Jan Garbarek, Eleni Karaindrou, Anouar Brahem, Nik Bärtsch, and others.

Free admission with your Imago Dei ticket for April 2.

You can watch a TRAILER here:

© Kaupo Kikkas

© Kaupo Kikkas