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Virgencita 06:31
Solo: Nicolet Goedhart and Franca Nijman Work introduction When Agustin Gutierrez Canet, the Mexican ambassador to Estonia, invited me to Mexico, my interest and notions of the country were strongly affected be the famous legend of Juan Diego and his reports of the apparition of the Virgin Mary. The happy anticipation of being in Mexico very soon and the name Guadalupe left me no peace; they inspired me to write a choral work which I took along as a present to the people of Mexico: Virgencita. Arvo Pärt Lyrics: Virgencita de Guadalupe, salva nos, salva, Santa Maria de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros. Virgencita, salva nos. Santa Maria, Madre de Dios, salva nos. ruega por nosotros pecadores. Salva nos, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Virgencita, ruega por nosotros. Amén.
Solo: Nicolet Goedhart Nunc dimittis, also known as Simeon’s canticle, is taken from the New Testament (Luke II, 29-32); it is a short paean which Simeon took up when, as promised by the Holy Spirit, he was allowed to see the Messiah in the temple of Jerusalem before his demise. Pärt set the Nunc dimittis for a cappella chorus on commission from St. Mary’s Cathedral, which has one of Scotland’s great church choirs. Along with the Magnificat, Nunc dimittis is at the centre of the Anglican Mass, the Evensong, and it is a component of many vesper services. Lyrics: Taken from Luke 2, 29-32 29 Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace, 30 quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum, 31 quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum, 32 lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
Salve Regina 12:42
Organ: Geerten van de Wetering Pärt's setting of the Salve Regina has an extended hymn-like feel to it. Typically, it builds very gradually to a late, majestic climax - unison vocal lines at the outset, broader harmonies later, some intriguing eccentricities in the organ part along the way. It was the wish of Hubert Luthe, Bishup of Essen Cathedral, that this particular text be set in honour of the building's priceless golden Madonna. The premiere was in May 2002, to mark both the Bishop's seventy-fifth birthday and Essen's own 1150th anniversary. (Meurig Bowen) Lyrics by Hermann von Reichenau (1013 - 1054) Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae; vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et lesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria Hail Queen, Mother of mercy; a life of joy? And our hope. We cry out the children of Eve. To you, and groans in this valley of tears. Therefore, Advocate, eyes of mercy to us. And offer the blessed fruit of thy womb, And after this exile. Compassionate, loving, O sweet Virgin Mary
Work introduction: Arvo Pärt wrote the prayer of piece Da pacem Domine to fulfil a commission from Jordi Savall. He began to set this ninth-century Gregorian antiphon two days after the Madrid bombings on 11 March 2004 as his personal tribute to the victims. Since then Da pacem Domine has been performed every year in Spain to commemorate the victims of this terrorist attack. Lyrics: Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis nisi tu Deus noster
Morning Star 02:30
Commissioned by Durham University on the occasion of its 175th anniversary in 2007. The world premiere took place on December 10th, 2007 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London by Durham University Choir, conducted by Jeremy Dibble. The text comes from a prayer that appears above the tomb of St. Bede in the Durham Cathedral. Lyrics (Revelation 2, 28) Christ is the morning star who when the night of this world is past brings to his saints the promise of the light of life and opens everlasting day
The Woman With the Alabaster Box and Tribute to Caesar were both commissioned for the 350th anniversary of the Karlstad Diocese in Sweden in 1997. Both are settings of texts from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, and, although they stand as separate compositions, the two works do have many musical traits in common. Not the least of these is the contrasting use of chordal passages and mostly stepwise melodic declamation, both familiar elements in Pärt's music, but combined here with a new fluidity of texture and a more idiomatic moulding of choral sonorities. (Paul Hillier) Lyrics: Matthew, 26, 6-13: Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment and poured it on his head, as he sat at meal. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, to what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them: Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me, for ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
Commissioned by the Louth Contempory Music Society, Pärt's The Deer's Cry had its world premiere in February 2008 in Louth, Ireland, performed by the State Choir Latvija and conducted by Fergus Sheil. Based on a setting of the poem "St. Patrick's Breastplate" (Christ with me, Christ before me), this five-minute a cappella work evokes peaceful contemplation in both choirs and audiences alike. Lyrics According to the Lorica of St Patrick (~377): Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in me, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me, Christ with me.
Of the Kanon Pokajanen, Pärt writes: Many years ago, when I first became involved in the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church, I came across a text that made a profound impression on me although I cannot have understood it at the time. It was the canon of repentance. Since then I have often returned to these verses, slowly and arduously seeking to unfold their meaning. Two choral compositions (nun eile ich… 1990 and Memento, 1994) were the first attempts to approach the canon. I then decided to set it to music in its entirety from beginning to end. This allowed me to stay with it; and, at the very least, its hold on me did not abate until I had finished the score. I had a similar experience while working on Passio. It took over two years to compose the Kanon Pokajanen, and the time “we spent together” was extremely enriching. That may explain why this music means so much to me. In this composition, as in so many of my local works, 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 sound, to draw its own melodic line. Somewhat to my surprise, the resulting music is entirely immersed in the particular character of Church Slavonic, a language used exclusively in ecclesiastical texts. The Kanon has shown me how much the choice of language predetermines the character of a work, so much so, in fact, that the entire structure of the musical composition is subject to the text and its laws: one lets the language “create the music.” The same musical structure, the same treatment of the word, leads to different results depending on the choice of language, as seen on comparing Litany (English) with Kanon Pokajanen (Church Slavonic). I used identical, strictly defined rules of composition and yet the outcome is very different in each case. Lyrics (Translation: Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY): O Master Christ God, Who hast healed my passions through Thy Passion, and hast cured my wounds through Thy wounds, grant me who have sinned greatly against Thee, tears of compunction. Transform my body with the fragrance of Thy life-giving Body, and sweeten my soul with Thy precious Blood from the bitterness with which the foe hath fed me. Lift up my down-cast mind to Thee, and take it out of the abyss of perdition, for I have no repentance, I have no compunction, I have no consoling tears, which uplift children to their heritage. My mind hath been darkened through earthly passions, I cannot look up to Thee in pain. I cannot warm myself with tears of love for Thee. But, O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, Treasury of good things, give me thorough repentance and a diligent hearth to seek Thee; grant me Thy grace, and renew in me the likeness of Thine image. I have forsaken Thee – do not forsake me! Come out to seek me; lead me up to Thy pasturage and number me among the sheep of Thy chosen flock. Nourish me with them on the grass of Thy Holy Mysteries, through the intercessions of Thy most pure Mother and all Thy saints. Amen.
Pärt's emotionally-charged Bogoróditse Djévo, is a vibrant tribute to the Virgin Mary which is sung in the traditional Orthodox Church Slavic language and alludes to traditional Orthodox compositional practices. Occasionally, the piece could be taken for historical liturgical music. King's College Choir, Cambridge, commissioned this work for the occasion of the festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve. Lyrics: "Rejoice, O virgin Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls."


(For english, scroll down)

De muziek van Arvo Pärt heeft vanaf de oprichting van Kwintessens een belangrijke plek ingenomen in de programma's van het Haagse koor. Tweemaal kwam het zelfs tot een samenwerking met de componist. De eerste keer was in 2013 toen Kwintessens Adam's Lamens in de Fokkerterminal uitvoerde. Op de vraag waarom Pärt naar Den Haag afreisde, antwoordde hij: 'Op de een of andere manier heb ik gevoeld dat ik hiernaartoe moest komen. Ik had het idee dat er iets zou gebeuren wat waarachtig was, niet vanuit ambitie, maar om de muziek te dienen.'
De tweede keer dat Kwintessens met de componist werkte, was ruim een jaar later toen het koor een reis naar Estland maakte. Opnieuw een bijzondere ontmoeting! Na afloop van het concert in Tallinn hield Pärt een mooie toespraak waarin hij zei dat er iets bijzonders had plaatsgevonden: 'De zangers, de componisten (ook Tormis, Uusberg en Kõrvits waren aanwezig) en het publiek zijn bijeengekomen en iedereen is in de muziek gezogen. We hebben met elkaar gevonden waar we als mens naar op zoek zijn en ervaren dat we zielsverwanten zijn. Die verbondenheid kunnen voelen, dat is het allerhoogste wat kunst, wat muziek kan bereiken.'

In 2015 organiseerde Kwintessens met het New European Ensemble een driedaags festival ter ere van de 80e verjaardag van de componist.
Uit dankbaarheid voor de rijkdom die het koor heeft ervaren in het zingen van Pärts prachtige composities, is deze cd ontstaan.

Toen Raoul Pärt over de cd-opnamen vertelde, schreef hij het volgende:

'Lieber Herr Boesten,
Die Wahhl der Stücke finde ich sehr gut. Diese Stücke zu realisieren, wird nicht einfach werden, aber ich weiss sie bei Kwintessens in besten Hände. Ich bin zuversichlich, dass Sie den richtigen Ton für meine Musik finden weren und freue mich schon auf das Resultat.
Ihr Arvo Pärt'


'Somehow I felt that I should come here. I had the idea that something would happen that was true. Not from ambition, but to serve the music.' These words Pärt replayed when asked why he would travel all the way to The Netherlands to work with Kwintessens. His intuition send him to our choir. And he was right. We experienced a magical collaboration.

Since the foundation of Chamber Choir Kwintessens in 2005 Arvo Pärt's music occupied an important place in the choirs repertoire. In the choirs opinion Pärt's music touches the essence of what music is about. It tells the universal story of being and resonates with the inner self.

Twice Kwintessens was fortunate to work with Pärt. The first time was in 2013 when Kwintessens performed Adam's Lament in the Fokkerterminal in The Hague.

The second time was a year later when the choir made an international tour to Estonia. An other very special meeting! Right after the concert in Tallinn, Pärt came on stage and surprised the choir and the audience with a touching speech: 'We together have found what we as humans are looking for. The experience that we are soul mates. To feel that connection, is the very highest level of art, which music can achieve.'

Form these experiences the desire arose to record a CD containing our most beloved pieces.

Informing Pärt about the recordings he replied:

Dear Mr. Boesten,
I like the choice of pieces very well. It will not be easy to realize these pieces, but I know they are in good hands with Kwintessens. I am confident that you will find the right tone for my music and I am looking forward to the result.

Your Arvo Pärt

And here it is! Our Arvo Pärt CD of which we hope you will enjoy the music as much as we do.

And when listening to it, close your eyes for a little moment and think of Pärt's words: 'We are all soulmates.'


released April 1, 2018


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Chamber Choir Kwintessens The Hague, Netherlands

Chamber Choir Kwintessens was founded in the Netherlands in 2005. Settled in The Hague, the Dutch Choir consists of 24 passionated singers. Committed to mostly contemporary music the choir has collected a large repertoire, serving its audience with more then only beautiful music. The choir stands out for creating an experience that touches the soul.
Founder & conductor: Raoul Boesten
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