Listen: Arvo Pärt and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Arvo Pärt and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in The Temple of Dendur Arvo Pärt and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in The Temple of Dendur (Stephanie Berger/Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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.


Complete Program

Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen

Engineering credits: Edward Haber, George Wellington, Noriko Okabe

Hosted by:

Helga Davis and Anastasia Tsioulcas

Comments [3]

Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

On and off, in my ranting comments about WQXR's safe and repetitious playlist, I have suggested that the station play some Arvo Part (including requests for the request hour, always ignored). Maybe, after this, there is some hope that we could hear some of this music on the "regular" station (he added, without any real conviction . . .).

Jun. 05 2014 08:10 AM
Jared from Greenwich CT

Oh how I wish I could have been there!! At least I have my beloved sublime recording of Kanon on ECM, one of the finest recordings (imho) I know of within the entire cosmos of classical music, of any kind or period! Not sure when the opportunity to hear it live will come back around, but I will certainly be waiting, as long as it takes..

Jun. 04 2014 04:22 AM
David Bednar from Prague, Czech Republic

For me, Fratres are now forever interlinked with what some consider to be one of the best Czech theater plays after Y2000. Very local topic of a correspondence two comedians separated by iron curtain. The flowing music just lays in the dramas ground... Ingenious...

May. 24 2014 06:05 PM

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