Yale Camerata Chamber Choir Concert

Event time: 
Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 12:00pm
Event description: 

Passio - Arvo Pärt

Music for Palm Sunday

Marguerite L. Brooks, conductor


Lisa Rautenberg, violin

Olav Van Hezewijk, oboe

Wayne Hileman, bassoon

Mihai Marcia, cello

Ian Tomesch, organ

Miles Canaday, Jesus

Noah Horn, Pilate


St. Thomas Episcopal Church

830 Whitney Avenue

From the website of the composer:

When comparing all of Pärt’s post-1976 works, there is one underlying theme: the numinous. Arvo Pärt’s approach to religion has given rise to a humbleness in his artistic aims – his is an attempt to fathom what is secret and unknowable, and he is aware that this will be revealed to him in untranslatable musical forms, if at all – in works which silence chooses to abandon of its own accord. 9 His music is often said to transport the listener to a “moment outside time” 10, emerging from silence at the beginning of the work and slowly returning to it as the piece closes. Whatever the intention of the piece, many of his works can be said to reflect the inconceivable sadness that Mary and the disciples felt as Christ was crucified before them on the cross. Sandner states, “In a world in which Christian ideals are not universally acknowledged, this state of suffering (of the Passion of Christ without which all that comes after Christ cannot occur) is not one that must be artificially created.” 11 The melodic figures, restricted to only a few notes, are powerful in that they are filled with both grace and sadness. Sandner notes that, “Arvo Pärt’s cryptic remarks on his compositions orbit around the words ‘silent’ and ‘beautiful’ – minimal, by now almost imperiled associative notions, but ones which reverberate his musical creations.” 12 Unresolved dissonance is exploited, most notably at phrase beginnings and endings and on decidedly important syllables of text. However, each dissonance means in ways that cannot be easily described. That is to say that the dissonances are used, not as flamboyant exhibitionist gestures (as in his earlier serial works), but as unassuming vehicles for conveying an enigmatic sorrow.