Saturday October 7, 2017 at 16:00 : HAVENHUIS  - Schnittke - Pärt

Organization: Orfeoproducties

Place: Havenhuis, Zaha Hadidplein1, 2030 Antwerpen

Orfeoproducties is organizing a concert series around Music and Architecture. AQUARIUS is a guest in the famous Antwerp Havenhuis. The concert, with music by Schnittke and Pärt, will be preceded by an explanation given by the London firm of architects Zaha Hadid at 15:00.

It is not so crazy that Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt should be together in one programme. The stylistic differences between the two are great, but not so great that they are not united in their conciliation with music from former periods. Both began as fearless avant-gardists, and then came to embrace a much more accessible musical language. Both also composed a large quantity of film music. The influential Alfred Schnittke also played an important part in protecting the artistic fate of Arvo Pärt, who experienced difficulties with Soviet censorship under the Russian regime of the time.

Alfred Schnittke (1934-98) liked to refer to himself as a poly-stylist. He used any musical material that suited him. Some would call it a weakness, many would call it a strength. His CONCERTO FOR CHOIR (1988), a sturdy monument lasting some 40 minutes, has caused quite a stir in choral circles. Its Slav undercurrent, its unconcealed, direct expression and its ambitious polyphony speak for themselves. This Concerto for Choir is a challenge for performers. You must be vocally very capable to allow its contents to be heard. Good singers love that. 

Arvo Pärt has also turned to religious, Slav texts. His notorious Kanon Pokajanen, from which AQUARIUS will sing the final prayer (‘Prayer after the Kanon') disperses the same call to penance as the Concerto for Choir by Schnittke.

And that Arvo Pärt is also a bit of a 'poly-stylist' can be seen in both his famous and sublime MAGNIFICAT and the Spanish VIRGENCITA. You would not immediately suspect the same composer to have written these two pieces. 


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