by Paula Citron.
The Seven Last Words
Music by Gubaidulina, Bach and Frehner
Conducted by Ivars Taurins
St. Anne’s Anglican Church
Soundstreams Canada puts together clever programming of new music. The concert titled The Seven Last Words presented two works inspired by the final phrases uttered by Jesus on the cross.
The world premiere was the cantata Seven Last Words of Christ composed by Paul Frehner and performed by the remarkable American male soprano Michael Maniaci. Ivars Taurins conducted the Tafelmusik chamber Choir and a very good string orchestra. The piece was filled with mystery as Maniaci’s beautiful voice rose out above the choir. While modernist in concept, Frehner’s accessible music moved from passionate to tranquil as he used the strings like a human voice.
Russian composer Sophia Gubaidulina was represented by her 1982 work Seven Words for cello, button accordion and string orchestra. David Hetherington and Joseph Petric were the soloists. Like Frehner, the composer made the instruments exude pathos. The choir on its own performed Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude.
All in all, it was an inspirational Easter program.