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2011 – A. Pärt “Adam’s Lament”

2011 – A. Pärt “Adam’s Lament”

DSC_1t6g64In 2011 the ensemble had an unforgettable experience: it was invited to participate in a concert of Roman Kofman’s The Great Names cycle, which included music by Arvo Pärt, who turned 75 recently. The concert took place on 25 March 2011 at the National Philharmonic of Ukraine. The following works by the composer were performed: Symphony No. 4 Los Angeles, Silhouette for string orchestra and percussion (2009), Adam’s Lament for mixed choir and orchestra (2010).

Adam’s Lament (2010) was written at the commission of two European Capitals of Culture — Tallinn and Istanbul. Its world première took place in Istanbul at the 38th International Music Festival. The composition is a confession of a mournful soul. It is dominated by a restrained emotional tone, the cues of male and female voices are expressively compared, the contrasts of dark and lighter colours are used. The central component of the text, the everlasting longing of the forefather of mankind for the lost paradise, is expressed in the music without any external expression and strain, conveying even stronger the deep inner feeling of regret, remorse and mournful wail, overwhelming a sinful soul. (Marina Cherkashina-Gubarenko).

Valentin Silvestrov also shared his impressions of the concert: “The atmosphere of the concert was wonderful! It was, to a large extent, due to a successful performance. But the most surprising thing was that this modest music, devoid of external showiness, was so whole-heartedly accepted by the public. And it is not only about the music, but also the humble message that it brings”.

Conversation after the concert

After the performance at the Kyiv Philharmonic, where three symphonies by Arvo Pärt were presented at the highest level, Maestro expressed his feelings very emotionally.

Pärt noted that the orchestra devoured every gesture of the conductor, Kofman, as if they were single entity.

Actually the orchestra and the conductor have only started working together recently. Kofman had played these compositions by Pärt before, during his performances in Europe. The way the choir (the Credo Chamber Choir) performed was considered as awesome by all in attendance. The choir made Adam’s Lament descend on the audience as a true revelation. The singers feel the composition so deeply and keenly that the audience had an impression of Adam’s invisible presence on the stage.

This choir is not a strictly organized group, it is not a formalized ensemble; the choir master gathers the singers on a parity basis. The participants work at different jobs, and occasionally gather for rehearsals and performing at concerts, without getting any money, singing just “for their souls”. Arvo comments: “It is always like that: on a parity basis everything goes with God’s help, but when you try to legalise it, the human ego starts dominating, and soon some enterprising manager appears, every now and then seeking financial gain from the ensemble.”




Today, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra will be the venue for the concert of the music by a world famous Estonian sacred music composer, Arvo Pärt. Bogdan Plish, the conductor of the Credo Chamber Choir, spoke about his impressions of working with the Maestro.

– Two years ago in Kyiv the Arvo Pärt concert was held at the National Philharmonic. In particular, under my direction, the choir sang Adam’s Lament to the text by Saint Silouan the Athonite. It was one of the first world premieres of the composition.

Arvo Pärt was present at the concert, and also attended our rehearsals. The choir singers and I were deeply impressed with our communication with the composer. He is a man who is searching for God and tries to reflect this search in his music.


When we worked on the performance of Adam’s Lament, I had a feeling of a real sacrament of sound and words, when the words and the meaning are very closely intertwined, but the music never prevails over the meaning of the word. This music is not self-contained. This music reveals some underlying meanings of the words, of their sequence.

Music by Arvo Pärt is an attempt to reflect the divine harmony in sound. Whether it is symphonic, chamber or choral music, it is always very meaningful and focused, never vain.

I love Arvo Pärt as a composer, and I was happy to have the opportunity to participate in the performance of his works. I hope to return to his works again.

Monday, 17 June 2013 19:25
The Foma in Ukraine magazine.