On Monday, June 2, Q2 Music and NPR Classical presented a live audio and video webcast of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste in Arvo Pärt's epic 1997 masterpiece Kanon Pokajanen. This sold-out event was co-hosted by Q2 Music's Helga Davis and NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Translated as the Canon of Repentance, Pärt's Kanon Pokajanen was written over the course of two years and dedicated to the ensemble and conductor performing on this concert.
On the world premiere ECM album of the Kanon – recorded in Tallinn's Niguliste Church in 1997 and released the next year – Pärt writes that "I tried to use language as a point of departure. I wanted the word to be able to find its own sound, to draw its own melodic line." The monumental a cappella work comes in at over 80 minutes and is sung in a language exclusively for ecclesiastical texts, Church Slavonic.
Listen to the pre-concert chat between Q2 Music's Helga Davis and NPR Classical's Anastasia Tsioulcas.
This concert is presented in part with the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen
Engineering credits: Edward Haber, George Wellington, Noriko Okabe