In September, Nargenfestival will be celebrating the Arvo Pärt Days, which began in 2010 in honour of the composer’s birthday; and this year, for the composer’s 85th birthday, the festival will include new versions of several works, rearranged by the composer himself and by others – these arrangements have not been performed in Estonia before.
The opening concert will feature a new edition of the piece If Bach had been a bee keeper … , originally written in the early days of the tintinnabuli technique, performed by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Tõnis Kõrvits has rearranged Cecilia, vergine romana originally written for mixed choir and orchestra into something that sounds more like chamber music, and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet from Germany, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, will also be performing new arrangements.
In addition to Pärt’s music, the festival programme includes a diverse range of composers, establishing connections with representatives of earlier eras, including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten and Kreek, as well as contemporary composers such as Tulve or Kõrvits.
Already for the second year, the Pärt Days will also include a concert at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa: the festival’s artistic director, Tõnu Kaljuste, together with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the British solo violinists Hugo Ticciati and Priya Mitchell will perform interesting juxtapositions of Pärt’s music and the works of Benjamin Britten, featuring two of Pärt’s highly significant compositions for the first time in the Centre’s concert hall: the concert Tabula rasa for two violins, and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. Before the concert, the artistic director of Nargenfestival, Tõnu Kaljuste, will introduce the concert programme and talk about his extensive experience with Pärt’s music.
The jubilee season will end with the traditional birthday concert focusing on Arvo Pärt’s works. In Tallinn, Tõnu Kaljuste will be conducting Cecilia, vergine romana, arranged for a smaller ensemble by Tõnis Kõrvits. Two choirs and two organs will perform together, to delight Estonian audiences with Statuit ei Dominus and Beatus Petronius, which are rarely performed with such an unusual set-up. The lyric soprano Maria Listra, who recently completed vocal training in London, will be singing the solo parts for L’abbé Agathon, accompanied by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. The concert programme concludes with Arvo Pärt’s main work from the last decade, Adam’s Lament, the title track from the record which won a Grammy for Tõnu Kaljuste, combining two choirs and an orchestra.
The concerts will be held from 2 – 11 September in Tallinn, Tartu, Rakvere, Paide, Rapla, Viljandi, Viimsi, the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa; and in honour of the jubilee year, the Pärt Days will also be extending to Kuressaare, Haapsalu and Pärnu for the first time.