Pärting is such sweet sorrow

February 17, 2008

I’m one of the lucky ones who has tickets for four of the concerts in RTE’s Living Music Festival which is dedicated to the work of Arvo Pärt this weekend. The opening concert on Friday night at the National Concert Hall was magnificent and more than a few people commented on how long it has been since they experienced the kind of electricity in the air that was present in the building that night. Perhaps it had to do with the presence of the composer who received rapturous applause when he came to the stage – combined with the fabulous performance from the RTE Philharmonic Choir and the National Symphony Orchestra (and guest soloist Joanna MacGregor) which made the night a very special and memorable one. It was clear from the mix of people in the building that Arvo Pärt attracts a ‘non traditional’ classical music audience – ‘total crossover’ is how one colleague described. When I hear people moan about the licence fee and the paucity of programming on our national station I’d like to point them in the direction of what’s happening this weekend. I, for one, am delighted that my licence fee and my taxes are going to support this event.
This afternoon I’m off to hear the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet at the National Gallery, then Crash Ensemble at the Samuel Beckett Centre and back to the National Concert Hall for the final concert in the series tonight. The full programme for the event is here. And here’s one of my favourite Pärt pieces Spiegal Im Spiegal (thanks Sinead).

Check out what other bloggers are saying about this weekend, Karlin, Shane and Sinead