Good Friday is the day of Christ’s death and simultaneously the day of the atonement of humanity’s sins, when we are encouraged to stop and look inward, contemplate the questions of eternity, and pray for peace on earth.
The Latvian Radio Choir’s Good Friday programme Miserere will bring together two explorers of spirituality in music: Pēteris Vasks and the prominent Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki whose creative work in the 1960s greatly influenced Vasks’ musical outlook. Penderecki’s sacred choral works reflect a man’s internal confession, the power of revelation, and the ability to see mercy in suffering; this is also the message of the Holy Week, which came to serve as the most profound profession of love towards all believers.
The chosen works from Pēteris Vasks’ creative catalogue will be his calm reflection and nostalgic landscapes of Musica serena and two touching prayers for choir and string orchestra. Commenting on Da Pacem Domine, the composer has said “In Da Pacem, Domine, there is a desperate cry for this time. It is a prayer for our mad world. I believe that music enhances our faith, love, and inner strength.”
The basis for Mein Herr und mein Gott is a prayer by the Swiss mystic Brother Klaus that he is said to have recited every day. The composer encountered this text in a meditation retreat that took place on the shore of the Baltic Sea.