Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir to perform Pärt work in Greece

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Source: Kaupo Kikkas

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Tõnu Kaljuste will perform Arvo Pärt's "Kanon pokajanen" at the Festival European Polyphony in Rhodes on October 22 and 23.

The "Kanon pokajanen" (1997) that has been composed for a Church Slavonic prayer of penitence is Pärt's most sprawling a cappella choir work. The composer dedicated over two years to the work after spending longer still concentrating on the text. Pärt has admitted that his discovery of the penitence prayer from years ago, when he tied himself to the Orthodox tradition, left a deep impression and the mentally enriching period spent pouring it into music has left the work close to his heart.

The composition was commissioned to mark the 750th anniversary of the Cologne Cathedral. It is dedicated to Tõnu Kaljuste and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir that were the first to perform it. The choir and Kaljuste have recorded it for ECM Records and performed the "Kanon pokajanen" at many reputable festivals in Italy, Australia, Ireland, Poland, France and elsewhere.

The Festival European Polyphony, to be held for the fourth time, was started by French and Greek cultural organizations Arts Spontanes and Ars Artis. This year, concerts of classical music, photography exhibitions, film seances, workshops and music journeys through Rhodes will be held October 10-24.

Esper Linnamägi, head of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, said that the organizers have shown great interest in Arvo Pärt's work and value the choir highly as its performer. "They have spent years preparing our concerts with great dedication, getting to know the Estonian musical scene, and visited Arvo Pärt Days and the Arvo Pärt Center as a result of which the choir has now been invited to perform Pärt in an Orthodox church in Rhodes for the first time."

In addition to the two concerts, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will also take part in a musical trek during which a promenade concert of Estonian choral music will be performed.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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