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OPENING CONCERT

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Friday 22 March 19:00

Oslo Cathedral

Tickets sold by section A/B NOK 475 C/D NOK 375

Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

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


I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.
— Arvo Pärt

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.

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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of Estonia's best known ensembles and a leading chamber choir internationally. The choir's repertoire spans Gregorian songs from the middle ages to contemporary compositions, with a special focus on Estonian composers such as Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Toivo Tulev. Since its founding in 1981, the choir has collaborated with conductor legends such as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Helmut Rilling and Neeme Järvi, and current well-known conductors such as Paul McCreesh, Stephen Layton, Marc Minkowski and Gustavo Dudamel. The choir won the Gramophone Award for best choir recording in 2018 with the music of Pärt and Schnittke.

Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

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The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has since its founding in 1977 developed into a leading chamber orchestra on the international concert scene. The orchestra has held many concerts across most of Europe, the United States and Asia. The orchestra has made almost 40 recordings, covering a wide repertoire for string orchestras and several recordings with soloists such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Terje Tønnesen, Iona Brown, Lars Anders Tomter and Tine Thing Helseth. The orchestra has played with a number of Norwegian and international soloists, with a commitment to presenting contemporary music as part of the concert repertoire. As part of this commitment, the orchestra regularly commissions and premieres new works by Norwegian and international composers. Rehearsals for the opening concert are led by the orchestra's artistic leader Terje Tønnesen.

Photo: Mona Ødegaard

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Kaspars Putniņš is a leading choir conductor and formerly principal conductor of the Latvia Radio Choir. Since 2014 he has been principal conductor and artistic director of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. He appears regularly as a guest conductor with leading European choirs such as the BBC Singers, RIAS Kammerchor, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Netherlands Radio Koor, Berliner Rundfunkchor, Radiokören and Collegium Vocale Gent. Putniņš' work encompasses a wide range of choir repertoire, from Renaissance polyphony through Romantic works and modern pieces. His primary goal is always to impart outstanding choral music to a wide audience.

Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

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Berit Norbakken Solset is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after sopranos. She tours regularly throughout Europe and has also held concerts in Tokyo and Sydney. Solset's repertoire ranges from Renaissance vocal music via the Baroque period to newly written contemporary music. She works closely with Italian conductor Ottavio Dantone and Accademia Bizantina and performs regularly with conductors such as Juanjo Mena, Andreas Spering, Mikhail Pletnev, Robert King, Andrew Parrott, Vasily Petrenko, George Petrou and Jos van Immerseel.

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Hamida Kristoffersen is one of Norway's new, young opera stars, and in 2016 became a soloist at the Zurich Opera – one of the major and most renowned opera houses in Europe. In 2013, she became the only Norwegian finalist in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo and won both the Ingrid Bjonie grant and the award for best performance of Norwegian music. Kristoffersen has attended master classes with international vocalists such as Monica Groop, Barbara Hendricks, Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, Larisa Gergieva and Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe.

Photo: May-Britt Seljeseth Storvik

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Lydia Bryngelsson was born in the United States and grew up in Germany. She was educated at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig and the University of Stavanger with Professor Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz. Bryngelsson has performed a number of roles in opera performances in Norway and Europe and in 2019 can be seen in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. She is also an active concert and oratorio performer and has sung with conductors such as Tobias Ringborg, Martin Krumbiegel, Terje Boye Hansen, Rune Bergmann and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

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Emiliano Gonzalez Toro is one of the most prominent tenors of his generation, most notably within the Baroque music repertoire. He performs regularly throughout Europe with ensembles and conductors such as Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet), Le Concert d'Astrée (Emmanuele Haïm), Les Musiciens du Louvre (Marc Minkowski), Les Arts Florissants (William Christie) and Le Poème Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre). Gonzalez Toro has performed at several of the most important opera and concert venues in Europe, such as Opéra Royal de Versailles, Opéra de Paris and Theater an der Wien, and participated in the Church Music Festival's final concert in 2018.

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Erik Rosenius has been chosen by maestro Daniel Barenboim to be a part of Opernstudio Staatsoper Berlin 2018-2020, one of the world’s leading Opera Studio programmes for opera singers in the beginning of their careers. Rosenius graduated from the University College of Opera in Stockholm, spring 2017. He started singing in the Stockholm Boys’ Choir at the age of 8 and studied at the renowned choir school Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser. He started his studies in classical solo singing at the gymnasium Södra Latin and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm 2011. 2014-2017 he studied at the University College of Opera in Stockholm. Erik sang the role of Superintendent Budd in “Albert Herring” as final exam production. He has been accepted as a member of the Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artists Programme and will sing the role of Father Truelove in Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” on tour in Europe in May 2019.

Photo: Martin Hellström

Supported by:

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Later Event: March 23
OPEN REHEARSAL