Plurality of worlds in Wright's theory of the universe (1750). ETH-Bibliothek Zürich / Science Photo Library.
Sat 27.2.2021 klo 15 Musiikkitalo, Helsinki
Sun 28.2.2021 klo 18 Turku Cathedral, Turku

Lux Aeterna (CANCELLED)

Toward the light

Pärt – Leonarda – Ligeti – J. S. Bach

Suvi Väyrynen, soprano
Jeni Packalen, mezzo-soprano
Simo Mäkinen, tenor
Arttu Kataja, baritone
Key Ensemble
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Teemu Honkanen, musical direction

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The Finnish Baroque Orchestra will have a very special guest when they work with the skilled and versatile Key Ensemble and their conductor, Teemu Honkanen, to bring a programme that reaches new heights. Early and new music intertwine, and this professional choir and baroque orchestra join forces differently in different works: the programme includes a capella choral music, works for choir and orchestra and chamber music.

Two works in this concert are classics of 20th century music that exude eternal wildness: Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres” (now in a version for string orchestra and percussion) and György Ligeti’s “Lux Aeterna”. “Fratres” is an early cornerstone of Pärt’s style of reaching out for silence. This style is also heard in the beginning of Ligeti’s cosmic “Lux Aeterna”, which is an example of his “micropolyphony”: the sounds branch into so many strands that it creates a kind of stellar cloud.

The music of Italian composer and nun Isabella Leonarda (1620–1704) has recently aroused growing enthusiasm among musicians and listeners of early music. Last year was the 400th anniversary of Leonardo’s birth. Isabella Leonardo’s output includes more than 200 works, with a special focus on spiritual vocal music and string sonatas. Now we hear Mary's canticle, Magnificat, for choir and orchestra.

The Gospel of Luke tells how the pregnant Mary visits Elisabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary speaks words known as her song of thanksgiving: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..." Since the Renaissance, the text has been set to music countless times. The main work of the concert is Johann Sebastian Bach's sparkling Magnificat. The music alternates between solemn rejoicing and humble softness as the colorful choral and solo parts dive into the mental landscape of the Virgin Mary.

Duration: 1 h (no intermission)

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