Friday, January 7, 2011

Another Evensong at St. Stephens Church on Sunday

Les Martin, along with the people of  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (4805 NE 45th St), would like to invite the community to another Evensong on Sunday at 5PM followed by a reception.

This short service features a setting of the Evening Canticles, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in B Minor, by T. Tertius Noble, and a stunning setting of "The Beatitides" for choir and organ by the renown Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.

Les says in his email:

"The Beatitudes" is set in a style called "tintinnabuli," after the Latin word for bell. This style involves the interweaving of two voices - one moves by melodic steps while the other rotates through the pitches of a major or a minor chord - thought modern in conception, it also evidences a stylistic connection with polyphonic music of the late medieval and early
Renaissance periods. "The Beatitudes" is further set as a harmonic palindrome: the choir weaves two haunting 'vertical' mirror-image textures -  one between the soprano and tenor; another between the alto and bass voices, and moving ever higher with each successive phrase - which create an otherworldly series of harmonic progressions that culminate in a triumphant "Amen". At this point the organ bursts into a dazzling toccata, flashing backwards through the harmonies like a yo-yo returning to the hand - arriving back at the very chordal progression that began this mystical work.

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