AN EXO PROJECT

Arvo Pärt @ The Met

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EXO partnered with Artefact Ensemble and Met LiveArts to present a once-in-a-lifetime concert at the Temple of Dendur

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About the project

We were invited to perform on the Met Live Arts series with Artefact Ensemble in a concert of Arvo Pärt’s music that featured a world premiere of his “O Holy Father Nicholas.” In a program curated by EXO’s James Blachly, the concert involved artistic consultation with the Arvo Pärt Centre, Michael Pärt, and Peter Bouteneff. Performing at the Temple of Dendur in a concert structured in complete silence was a profoundly moving experience for us all.

From the MET Website:

The Temple of Dendur is the setting for the haunting world-premiere of O Holy Father Nicholas, commissioned by Nektarios S. Antoniou for The Schola Cantorum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Created by the revered Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, it celebrates the rededication of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the National Shrine at Ground Zero. Masterpieces from the composer’s seven-decade career are performed by the Artefact Ensemble, under the direction of Grammy-nominated choral conductor Benedict Sheehan. Soloists from Experiential Orchestra are conducted by Grammy Award-winning James Blachly.”

PROGRAM

Fratres

Michelle Ross, violin

Vater Unser

Eric Brenner, soprano

The Deer’s Cry

Silouan’s Song

Salve Regina 

Summa 

O Holy Father Nicholas – World Premiere

Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten 

Da Pacem

FEATURED COLLABORATORS

The world-première recording of “The Prison,” a choral symphony written in 1930 by the English composer Ethel Smyth, arrives as demands for a more representative, equitable canon are mounting. For too long, Smyth has been relegated to footnote status: an ardent suffragist who was jailed for her efforts and a prominent lesbian, she wrote what was, until 2016, the only work by a female composer to be staged at the Metropolitan Opera (“Der Wald,” in 1903). “The Prison” exerts a metaphysical gravity, not just because of the text by Henry Brewster but also because Smyth’s music calls to mind Brahms, Elgar, and even Mahler at their most visionary and searching. The conductor James Blachly elicits splendid work from the vocal soloists, Sarah Brailey and Dashon Burton, and from the Experiential Orchestra and Chorus.

Steve Smith, The New Yorker

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A NEW EXPERIENCE OF SOUND