Friday, March 12, 2010

The Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier and NYYD Quartet at Fundação Gulbenkian

Theatre of Voices and NYYD Ensemble, directed by Paul Hillier will be tomorrow night in Lisbon, at Fundação Gulbenkian, with a program that includes early music and its influence on the work of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.


This program is therefore rooted in my very first experience of Pärt’s music. It is not however intended as the illustration of an idea, but rather as a concert of musical items that suit each other, both in contrast and similarity. There is an underlying sympathy between the two aesthetics at work, even though Pärt’s belongs to our time, and the medieval does not - except insofar as we make it contemporary whenever we perform it.
Broadly speaking this program is a synthesis of Pärt and early medieval music. The medieval pieces are chosen to reflect the influence of that sound-world on Pärt’s music and the technique he created called ‘tintinnabuli’. There is perhaps no other kind of music which so perfectly fits with Pärt’s than this kind of selection of chant and early polyphony. (Paul Hillier)


Theatre of Voices is widely recognized as one of Europe’s foremost vocal groups. It was formed by Paul Hillier as an avenue to do more contemporary music when his group, the Hilliard Ensemble, focused primarily on early music. Not only the project has performed music from many of late Twentieth Century’s most eminent composers (Berio, Cage, Stockhausen, …) but has also collaborated with a number of today’s living composers including Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, and John Adams.

NYYD Ensemble is an ensemble of new music, comprising the best young musicians in Estonia. The core of the ensemble consists of a string quintet, a wind quintet, a trumpet, trombone, percussion and keyboard player, but the actual make up varies according to the work: from a single performer to a chamber orchestra.The artistic director and conductor of the ensemble is Olari Elts. (NYYD web site)

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