For the final program of our 45th season, ORS presents a full program of music by Arvo Pärt. Pärt, whose Berliner Messe was included on our CD released in 1993, has claimed the title of most performed living composer in the world since 2010. The 82-year-old Estonian-born composer is known for using simple musical triads that recall the sound of bells; Pärt calls this style “tintinnabuli,” Latin for “bells.” He famously spoke these words about his music: “I could compare my music to white light, which contains all colors. Only a prism can divide the colors and make them appear. This prism could be the spirit of the listener.”
Berliner Messe, composed in 1990, combines traditional mass movements with several composed for the Christian festival of Pentecost and is accompanied by organ. Pärt’s Te Deum, premiered in 1985, sets Latin texts praising God, accompanied by prepared piano and a string orchestra. The program also includes his seven-minute a capella work The Woman with the Alabaster Box. A fitting conclusion to our exciting anniversary season, the concert celebrates Oregon Repertory Singers’ long history, with a nod to one of our earlier albums bookending the fall release of our newest.