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Music for Easter

The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will present two Easter concerts this week, the first in Larnaca on Thursday and the second in Nicosia on Friday.

The orchestra, under the baton of Alkis Baltas and together with the soloists Michalis Kouloumis on the violin and soprano Elli Koutsouli, will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, Depart in Peace for solo soprano, solo violin, tampura and strings by John Tavener, Giovanni Paisiello’s Sinfonia Funebre, as well as four ballads – A Day in May, Weeping Eyes, My Mother Is Weeping at the Tomb and Sorrow Has No Words – by Mikis Theodorakis, arranged by Baltas.

The Sinfonia “al Santo Sepolcro” is not your typical Vivaldi work. A piece in two movements, an adagio and a fugue, it was possibly intended to be heard between Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday in the chapel of the Ospedale della Pieta. Composed around 1730, its music expresses grief, with the two fugue subjects intersecting in an allusion to the cross as an image of the Divine Passion.

British composer Tavener, who passed away in 2013, wrote the moving Depart in Peace following the death of his father. The work encompasses elements of the Greek Orthodox liturgy and the Song of Simeon.

The Sinfonia Funebre by Paisiello is, as the title suggests, a funereal symphony, while the ballads by Theodorakis which round off the programme are four examples of the Greek composer’s more lyrical output.

Depart in Peace
Concert by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. April 21. Terra Santa Catholic Church, Larnaca. 8.30pm. €12/7. Tel: 22-410181
April 22. Pallas theatre, Nicosia


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