There’s a rare opportunity to hear the ancient surroundings of Worcester Cathedral ringing to the modern sounds of one of the world’s leading contemporary composers this weekend.
Arvo Pärt’s Passio is being performed by the Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir in a concert to mark Passion Sunday and, says Musical Director Stephen Shellard, is a work quite different to anything the singers have done before.
The choir is no stranger to singing something a little different to traditional classical music concerts or at Cathedral Services: it’s been a backing group for hit harmony group Blake and last year accompanied rock legend Rick Wakeman at his two live gigs in Cheltenham.
Now it’s tackling the contemporary Estonian composer’s telling of the St John Passion. Written in the early 1980s and set in Latin, it is a powerful demonstration of Pärt’s tintinnabuli style that harks back to medieval plainchant in its musical simplicity.
“The range of notes is sparse and constructed so that they linger in the air, during the many pauses, like the sound of a bell long after it’s been struck,” says Mr Shellard.
“The wonderful acoustics of Worcester Cathedral can only enhance that experience that in a way that is powerfully moving.
“A prime example of the composer’s minimalist style, Passio is a short work at just over an hour long. However it is proves a powerfully contemplative and moving piece that stays with the listener long after it the final notes have ended.”
The concert, sponsored by the Friends of Worcester Cathedral and Mr and Mrs David Hawkins is due to begin at 6.30pm on Sunday, April 6. Tickets cost £12 and are available on 01386 860389. Alternatively they can be booked on line at www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk