Wratislavia Cantans
The Wheel of Venus
7:00 PM
Nysa, Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

I. Longing
Bo Holten Cantigas d’amigo for women’s choir
Jean Sibelius Rakastava for men’s choir op. 14
II. Ordeals
Bo Holten Rota Veneris  
III. Sublimation
Jean Yves Daniel-Lesur Le cantique des cantiques


Lionel Sow – conductor
NFM Choir

Nysa, Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
ul. Bracka 1
from 15 to 25 zł

Venus, a Roman goddess of unrivaled beauty, has for hundreds of years been a source of inspiration for artists – as a symbol of the different faces of love and lust. During this three-stage concert, the NFM Choir under the baton of Lionel Sow will perform a musical interpretation of Longing, Anguish and Sublimation.

This evening, the acoustic of the church will be filled with the sounds of the composition by Bo Holten, a respected Danish conductor and composer. As well as symphonic and solo pieces, his output also includes significant a cappella works. Among these is Cantigas d’amigo for female choir – a piece created in 2010. The literary basis for the composition is a set of medieval Portuguese poems about the longing of women for the men who are at war or at sea. Holten chose five texts that form the foundation of each movement of the composition. Their structure, based on some sort of repetition, is reflected in the musical layers of the set, and is shown through techniques such as the use of a canon – one of the oldest polyphonic techniques. Rota Veneris, in turn, is a reference to Venus and the medieval concept of love being full of ups and downs. The composer used the lyrics of anonymous 13th-century motets commenting on various aspects of being in love, perfectly resonating with the varied melodies of the piece.

To this day, Jean Sibelius is considered to be the greatest Finnish composer. Particularly acclaimed is Rakastava – an 1894 cycle of three songs for an a cappella male choir, for which the composer used texts from Kanteletar (a collection of Finnish folk poetry). The titles of the individual movements are Rakastava (Loving), Rakastetun tie (The path of the beloved) and Hyvää iltaa... Jää hyvästi (Good evening… Goodbye). The concert ends with a composition by Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur – Le cantique des cantiques from 1953. It is considered to be the artist’s unquestionable masterpiece and it holds a top place in the repertoire of French a cappella music from the last century. The title is a reference to Song of Songs – a biblical lyrical poem presenting love as the highest value.  

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