Photo - Friedrun Reinhold
Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi (secundum Joannem)
is the second performance by The Hilliard Ensemble
at the 2010 Perth International Festival.
Conducted by Joseph Nolan
(Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Georges Cathedral Perth), it was a brilliant performance by little known Estonian composer Arvo Pӓrt
. The Hilliard Ensemble
is world renown for their performances not only in early music, but their work with living composers and new music.
Together for almost 30 years, they formed a long standing relationship with Arvo Pӓrt
after recording Passio
in 1988. Passio
is a piece where the text and voice take centre stage over the orchestral music.
Along with the four members of the outstanding Hilliard Ensemble
, WA based Andrew Foote
, Jane Edwards
and the St Georges Cathedral Consort
brought exquisite professionalism to the performance.
Musicians Leanne Glover
), Jane Kircher
), Shaun Lee-Chen
), Eve Silver
) and Stewart Smith
) comprised the five musicians that added depth and ably supported the singers.
It was an interesting stage setup, with the three evangelists (David James, Rogers Covey-Crump
, and Gordon Jones
) and Edwards
standing behind the musicians on one side, and the Consort
standing on the other.
On either side of the organist in the choir stood Andrew Foote
and Steven Harrold
) as Pilate
No sound enhancement was required, the voices came across powerfully and clear.
Sung in Latin, subtitles were shown on two screens either side of the stage. They were slightly distracting, although it was nice to know the details of what was going on.
The emotion was evident in the singing, but the translation did add value. My criticism of the subtitles would be the size of the text – I was towards the back and struggled to read them.
Founded two years ago, the St Georges Cathedral Consort
is made up of 18 singers. Lead by Joseph Nolan
, they primarily sing evensong at the cathedral, but in 2009 performed in the Cathedral Concert Series.
Their diction, precision and control were brilliant and I hope the general Perth music going audience get to see more of this group in the near future.
Silence and stillness is a key part of Pӓrt’s Passio
, and ironically it is here that the performers excel.
There were many moments were you felt the performers and audience were holding their breath – it was a brilliant study of constraint and concentration from all. This was a treat for music lovers and festival goers.
The Hilliard EnsemblePASSIOArvo PӓrtConducted by
Perth Concert HallDate/Time:
Thu 25 Feb @ 7.30pmDuration:
1hr 15min no intervalTickets:
$57.50 - $37.50Bookings: bocsticketing.com.au