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© oerknal 2019

Season 2016 | 17

SIN AND EXPIATION | 26 and 27 May

Dimitri Papageorgiou - Effluénces (2011)

Orlando di Lasso - excerpts from Prophetiae Sibyllarum (c. 1550)

Kaija Saariaho - From the Grammar of Dreams (1988)

Hildegard van Bingen - excerpts from Symphonia armonie celestrium revelationum (c. 1140)

Lewis Nielson - Cilice

Oerknal and vocal quartet Damask present a concert inspired by Bach's Matthaüs-Passion. Themes of loss, sin, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption weave through various textures, tapestries, and compositional voices, reinventing the traditional passion experience. 

Since its inception Oerknal has cultivated a substantive collaborative relationship with American composer and conductor Lewis Nielson. This concert presents the premiere of Nielson's Cilice, a co-commission from Oerknal and Damask. Cilice is a 21st-century cantata setting texts from Psalms, Dante, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Hölderlin, Goethe, Brecht, and Bachmann exploring themes of sin and expiation. In something of a Nielson trademark, the instrumentalists are called on to sing and the singers to create instrument-like sounds with the formal intention of developing a unification of ensemble and image as the work proceeds. In addition to this premiere, Damask offers Prophetiae Sibyllarum, a stunning collection of motets by Renaissance composer Orlando di Lasso, as well as Kaija Saariaho's beautiful duet From the Grammar of Dreams, based on texts by Sylvia Plath exploring themes of self-doubt and absolution. Oerknal offers Effluénces, an ethereal quintet by Greek composer Dimitri Papageorgiou, and both groups join forces to perform an arrangement of Medieval composer Hildegard van Bingen's mystical Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum.