Oslo Church music festival – Opening Concert
22. March 2019 @ 19:00 - 20:10
ARVO PÄRT: DA PACEM DOMINE
ARVO PÄRT: TE DEUM
GEORG FRIEDRICH HANDEL: DIXIT DOMINUS
ESTONIAN PHILHARMONIC CHAMBER CHOIR
THE NORWEGIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
KASPARS PUTNIŅŠ, CONDUCTOR
The church music festival is opened by the excellent Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, led by Latvian master conductor Kaspars Putniņš, soloists and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. The opening concert presents two of our festival themes: Arvo Pärt and Te Deum. The concert opens with Pärt’s beautiful and sorrowful choral work Da pacem Domine (Lord, give us peace), which was composed on commission from Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the terror attack in Madrid 11 March 2004. Te Deum was written in 1984 for three choirs, prepared piano, strings and wind harp. The work is based on Pärt’s own tintinnabuli technique – a form of minimalism in which a simple, stepwise melody is combined with an arpeggiated tonic triad. In addition, the work is characterised by a continuous drone; one tone played continuously on the wind harp. This creates a static, meditative mood and a vocal expression reminiscent of Byzantine chant music.
The concert ends with the vesper hymn Dixit Dominus by G.F. Handel – a hymn based on Psalm110 that he wrote in 1707, just 22 years old!
The work is considered one of the most important of Handel’s early career as composer and was written during a longer stay in Italy. Dixit Dominus is a demanding piece for both instrumentalists and vocalists, and demonstrates Handel’s total mastering of counterpoint with a harmonic and melodic ingenuity and a solid understanding of dramaturgy that makes Dixit Dominus, not surprisingly, one of his most memorable compositions. Experience one of the world’s foremost choirs in collaboration with one of Norway’s leading chamber orchestras.
Berit Norbakken Solset
Emiliano Gonzalez Toro