Love and Lament

Saturday, Mar 16th 2024 - 3:00pm
Price: 150 / 100 / 50 (alm. / stud. og pens / U25)
Arranged by: Ars Nova Copenhagen

Welcome to Love and Lament - Easter Meditations with Ars Nova Copenhagen. A fusion of the deep emotions of love and lamentation at the heart of Easter time. We invite you to participate in a unique concert presented by the vocal ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen.

In the beautiful space of Vor Frelser Church in the heart of Christianshavn, the ensemble's twelve singers will guide you through a selection of music that embraces the meditative spirit of Easter, creating an atmosphere of reflection and beauty.

Ars Nova Copenhagen is conducted by the ensemble's new chief conductor, Sofi Jeannin, who has carefully selected the music with the ensemble's singers in mind. The concert will feature works such as Lamentations of Jeremiah by William Byrd, O Crux by Knut Nystedt, as well as both Tenebrae Responsories and Miserere by James MacMillan. A concert filled with musical spirit, where the voices of Ars Nova Copenhagen create the sonic landscape.

Purchase your tickets now and be part of this musical experience. Welcome!

James MacMillan is one of the most prominent vocal composers of our time, blending a strong religious faith with outstanding compositional elegance. His Miserere uses the same text as Allegri's popular counterpart. The beautiful work embraces the words with both drama and melting beauty combined. MacMillan's Tenebrae Responsories owe a debt to the great Renaissance masters Victoria and Gesualdo. It is a challenging work that requires great dynamic courage and harmonic precision from the singers. (Listen to Ars Nova sing MacMillan's Miserere)

Speaking of great Renaissance masters, we also present Lamentations of Jeremiah, by William Byrd. In the text, Jeremiah laments the destruction of Jerusalem and asks the people to return to their God, where they will find security and forgiveness. Byrd musically expresses this with both expressiveness and, for the period, innovation. He experiments with a variety of musical scales and creates complex connections between the various independent melodic lines. (Listen here to Byrd's five Easter motets)

Knut Nystedt passed away in 2014, at the age of 99. During his lifetime as a composer, he managed to transition from national romantic folklore, to neoclassical style akin to the masters Hindemith and Poulenc, further to pure lyrical expressionism with soundscapes and 12-tone clusters, ending in a sort of neo-romanticism. O Crux from 1977 belongs on the border between expressive and neo-romantic. It is a work that has inspired and paved the way for subsequent generations of composers such as Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, and Eric Whitacre. The text is a poetic and loving description of the cross, attributed to the Italian Venantius Fortunatus from the 5th century.

At the concert, Ars Nova also performs smaller works by Karin Rehnqvist and Zoltan Kodály.

Sofi Jeannin was born in Sweden, where she spent her childhood and early youth. She trained as a singer at the conservatory in Nice and later the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. At the Royal College of Music in London, she studied choral conducting, which she subsequently taught at the same institution. Her repertoire spans widely and she is praised for her unusually distinct and beautiful conducting technique and fine musicality. Ars Nova's collaboration with Sofi Jeannin began as early as September 2023 with three concerts featuring a purely French program, but now it is official. The collaboration will extend at least until the end of the 2026/27 season.

Ars Nova Copenhagen was founded in 1979 and was led until 1995 by the Danish conductor and composer Bo Holten, whose groundbreaking ideas about a repertoire encompassing both early and new music helped establish the ensemble's position both in Denmark and internationally. Tamás Vetö, who succeeded Holten in 1995, conducted a series of highly praised concert performances and recordings of new Danish music. From the beginning of this century until 2023, the ensemble was led by Paul Hillier, who with his artistic vision and uncompromising attitude raised Ars Nova Copenhagen to the high level where the group is today. Sofi Jeannin joined as the group's new chief conductor in 2024. Ars Nova has just begun a new four-year contract period as a special ensemble with operational support from the Danish Arts Foundation's Project Support Committee for Music. Thus, it is ensured that the ensemble - now led by Sofi Jeannin - will continue to spread vocal music at the highest level to audiences with a penchant for voices and atmosphere.


Hemlig stod jag en morgon Traditionel svensk, arr. Susanne Rosenberg
Stabat mater Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)
Lamentations of Jeremiah William Byrd (1543-1623)
Tenebrae responsories  James MacMillan (1959*)
Miserere James MacMillan
I lift my hands Karen Rehnqvist (1957*)
O Crux Knut Nystedt (1915-2014)