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And yet «no poetry […] is authentic if fatigue does not figure therein» (Simone Weil)

About the concert

Igor Strawinsky Ave Maria für Chor a cappella
Lili Boulanger Ils m’ont assez opprimé dès ma jeunesse - Psaume 129
für Mezzosopran, Tenor, Chor, Orchester und Orgel
Igor Strawinsky Pater noster für Chor a cappella
Lili Boulanger Du fond de l’abîme - Psaume 130
für Mezzosopran, Tenor, Chor, Orchester und Orgel
Francis Poulenc Stabat Mater für Sopran, Chor und Orchester
Lili Boulanger Vieille prière bouddhique für Tenor, Chor und Orchester

Gravity and grace were described by the French philosopher Simone Weil as the two forces that rule the world and to which the soul is subjugated. This knowledge makes her Lili Boulanger’s sister in spirit. The psalm settings of this extraordinarily visionary composer, who died young, give expression to the collective crisis of the people of Yahweh. She is unflinching in allowing the lamenting chorus to plunge into the simmering depths in order to «fall upwards» into the light. Between them, two simple, heartfelt motets by Igor Stravinsky offer a place of consolation: he only turned to prayer in old age. While the Ave Maria and Pater Noster appeal to maternal and paternal entities respectively, Francis Poulenc presents the Mother of God at her moment of greatest weakness. And yet «no poetry […] is authentic if fatigue does not figure therein» (Simone Weil). In Boulanger’s Vieille prière bouddhique (Old Buddhist prayer), the human voice overcomes the horrors of civilisation and language itself. Utopia is amazement with a closed mouth.

Produced by Chorwerk Ruhr for the Ruhrtriennale 2022.

Dates and tickets

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