Specchio del cielo!
In te le nubi
i muri gli alberi
Mirror of the sky!
In you the clouds,
the walls, the trees
Première 13 October 2022 Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ Amsterdam (NL) - first tour 13-23 October 2022
specchio del cielo is a joint project of the Collegium Vocale Gent and Het Collectief, combining Orlando di Lasso's ‘Prophetiae Sibyllarum’ and a new composition by Johannes Schoellhorn on Pier Paolo Pasolini's text ‘Litania’.
Orlando di Lasso's ‘Prophetiae Sibyllarum’ is one of the most original works of choral music in general. In 12 quiet movements, based on a text of pre-Christian prophecy, Lasso spreads out an enormously chromatic-rich and wide harmonic world. Each movement is attributed to an ancient sibyl, which announces the coming of Christ like an oracle.
Pier Paolo Pasolini's expressive poem ‘Litania’ is an echo of the "Lauretan Litany", the central prayer in the Catholic rite dedicated to the Mother of Jesus. In powerful poetic images he takes up motifs from the original litany, reshapes them in a completely new and powerful way in terms of content and transforms the poem into a very personal poetic lament.
While the texts of the pre-Christian ‘Prophetiae Sibyllarum’ enigmatically point to the Redeemer, the ‘Litania’ opens up a view of the world beyond, of our world. If the Sybils point to Christ, the Litania looks at Mary, the Mother. Both texts circle close and at the same time distanced mystically and ritually around the centre of Christian thinking and feeling.
For Pasolini's ‘Litania’, a new piece will be written with 12 singers (3S, 3A, 3T, 3B) and 6 instruments (flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello). Both cycles will be interlocked with each other and brought into musical relationship in many different ways. Lasso's rich eccentric harmonies form the starting point for Johannes Schoellhorn's work and open up numerous musical perspectives in the most diverse directions, whereby the presence of the instrumental ensemble in particular brings the musical present into play. The calm flow of Orlando di Lasso's music forms the basis for highly expressive musical movements based on Pasolini's poem.
All in all, a specchio del cielo is created, a mirror of the sky, which reflects past and present in a chromatic, i.e. multi-coloured and diverse way.
Het Collectief (6) & Collegium Vocale Gent (12) ::: NN, conductor