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Track(s) taken from CDA68056

The woman with the alabaster box

First line:
Now when Jesus was in Bethany
1997; SATB divisi unaccompanied; composed for the 350th anniversary celebrations of Karlstad Diocese, Sweden, where it was first performed by the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble
author of text
Matthew 26: 6-13

Polyphony, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
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Recording details: August 2013
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: October 2014
Total duration: 5 minutes 43 seconds

Other recordings available for download

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)


‘This one is something special. In part this is because of the choice of repertoire, which mixes the familiar and the less-often heard, and includes two first recordings, and in part it is because of the exquisite sound produced by Polyphony … highly recommended’ (Gramophone)

‘The ever-excellent Polyphony and Stephen Layton have put together a very special disc of music by Pärt for the composer’s 80th birthday ... The hour-long programme ranges from Solfeggio (1963) to the recent Virgencita (2012) in its first recording. The perfectly balanced, richly warm tones of Polyphony, especially its outstanding bass section, suit Pärt’s translucent textures extremely well, and one can’t help but admire the power of this supposedly ‘simple’ music’ (Choir & Organ)» More

‘There is no shortage of recitals of Arvo Pärt's shorter choral works in catalogue, but anything by Polyphony is always welcome … Polyphony's sound is, as always, so rich and beautiful that there is no sense of anything missing’ (BBC Music Magazine)» More

‘This disc of Pärt's choral music is one of the most singularly beautiful recordings I've heard this year … this is a stunning addition to Pärt’s ever-increasing discography and is unreservedly recommended’ (International Record Review)» More
In his monolithic setting of the Passio (St John Passion), Pärt had already established in 1982 a syllabically deadpan, recitative-like way of story-telling. Though not so strictly following Pärt’s tintinnabulist route-map of combined stepwise and triadic movement, The woman with the alabaster box, a piece of story-telling from St Matthew’s gospel, has a similar crystalline simplicity. Adjacent thirds interweave against long-held notes, creating subtle clashes and resolutions. The choral texture unites with pianissimo emphasis for Christ’s final words ‘Verily I say unto you …’. The vocal compass expands, both upwards and downwards, for effect. The controlled serenity and subtlety of expression are, again, mesmerizing. This 1997 setting was composed for the 350th anniversary of the Karlstad Diocese in Sweden, and was first performed by the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble in Karlstad Cathedral.

from notes by Meurig Bowen © 2014

Déjà en 1982, dans sa monolithique Passio (St John Passion), Pärt avait instauré une narration façon récitatif, impassible. Bien que ne suivant pas strictement la feuille de route tintinnabuliste de Pärt, où se mêlent progression par degrés conjoints et accords parfaits, The woman with the alabaster box, d’après l’évangile selon saint Matthieu, recèle une simplicité tout aussi cristalline. Des tierces voisines s’entremêlent sur fond de notes longues, créant de subtiles dissonances et des résolutions. La texture chorale s’unit à l’accent pianissimo pour les dernières paroles du Christ «Verily I say unto you …». L’ambitus vocal s’étoffe, vers le haut comme vers le bas, pour faire de l’effet. La sérénité maîtrisée et la subtilité expressive sont, là encore, envoûtantes. Cette œuvre composée en 1997 pour le trois cent cinquantième anniversaire du diocèse de Karlstadt, en Suède, fut créée en la cathédrale de Karlstadt par l’Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble.

extrait des notes rédigées par Meurig Bowen © 2014
Français: Hypérion

In der monolithischen Vertonung der Passio (Johannes-Passion) hat Pärt bereits 1982 eine syllabisch ausdruckslose und rezitativische Erzählweise etabliert. Obgleich nicht streng an Pärts Tintinnabuli-Technikmit dem kombinierten Stufen- und Dreiklang-Satz ausgerichtet, weist The woman with the alabaster box (eine Geschichte aus dem Matthäus-Evangelium) eine ähnlich kristalline Einfachheit auf. Benachbarte Terzen sind mit langgehaltenen Tönen verwoben und erzeugen so subtile Zusammenstöße und Auflösungen. Die Stimmen des Chores vereinen sich eindringlich im pianissimo bei den letzten Worten von Jesus Christus „Verily I say unto you …“ (Wahrlich ich sage Euch). Der Stimmbereich weitet sich sowohl nach oben wie nach unten wirkungsvoll aus. Die kontrollierte Abgeklärtheit und Subtilität des Ausdrucks sind wieder hypnotisch. Dieses Werk von 1997 wurde anläßlich des 350-jährigen Bestehens der Diözese Karlstad (Schweden) geschrieben und vom Vokalensemble Erik Westberg im Dom von Karlstad uraufgeführt.

aus dem Begleittext von Meurig Bowen © 2014
Deutsch: Christiane Frobenius

Other albums featuring this work

Pärt: Tintinnabuli
Studio Master: CDGIM049Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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