“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
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October 22, 2011 | 8 pm (pre-concert discussion at 7:30p)
The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse
1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
To hear Mendelssohn Club perform this concert at Swarthmore on October 23, visit the Orchestra 2001 website.
Based on text by St. Silouan, Pärt’s writings represent some of the most significant works in Russian poetry.
Arvo Pärt (born September 11, 1935) is an Estonian classical composer and one of the most prominent living composers of sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs a self-made compositional technique called tintinnabuli. His music also finds its inspiration and influence from Gregorian chant. Pärt was born in Paide, Järva County, Estonia. A prolonged struggle with Soviet officials led him to emigrate with his wife and their two sons in 1980. He lived first in Vienna, Austria, where he took Austrian citizenship, and then re-located to Berlin, Germany. He returned to Estonia around the turn of the 21st century and now lives in Tallinn. Pärt was honoured as the featured composer of the 2008 RTÉ Living Music Festival in Dublin, Ireland. He was also commissioned by Louth Contemporary Music Society to compose a new choral work based on St. Patricks Breastplate, which premiered in 2008 in Louth, Ireland. The new work is called The Deers Cry. This is the composer’s first Irish commission, having its debut in Drogheda and Dundalk in February 2008.
His recent (2008) Symphony No. 4 is named “Los Angeles” and was dedicated to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It is Pärt’s first symphony written in over 37 years, since 1971’s Symphony No. 3. It premiered in Los Angeles, California, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 10, 2009, and has been nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
In 1987, Henryk Górecki composed Totus Tuus, Op. 60 to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s third pilgrimage to his native Poland that summer. Totus Tuus was Pope John Paul II’s apostolic motto. It is a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours” and expressed his personal Consecration to Mary based on the spiritual approach of Saint Louis de Montfort and the Mariology in his works.The pontiff explained the meaning further in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope where he defines it as not only an expression of piety but also of devotion that is deeply rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. According to his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae he borrowed the motto from the Marian consecrating prayer found in the book True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort. The complete text of the prayer in Latin is: “Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt” (“I am all yours, and all that I have is yours”). Pope John Paul II once recalled how as a young seminarian he “read and reread many times and with great spiritual profit” some writings of Saint Louis de Montfort and that: “Then I understood that I could not exclude the Lord’s Mother from my life without neglecting the will of God-Trinity”.