CONCERT “IN TEMPORE BELLI”
Thursday 12 November 2015
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia / 8.30pm
On Thursday 12 November 2015, the Pharos Arts Foundation celebrates the power of music in times of war by presenting a very special concert with the eminent Ergon Ensemble from Greece. The concert, which is entitled “In Tempore Belli” (In Times of War) and it will take place in a candlelit The Shoe Factory, pays a tribute to Man – the man who has been victimized, who has been sacrificed for his ideals, who lost his right to life – but above all it is a reminder of the greatness this same man is capable of through artistic creation.
The Ergon Ensemble will perform three heartrending works which have been inspired by war but at the same time they acted as a way of catharsis to their own compo! sers:
Dmitry Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 vs The Cold War
Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.3, one of his most emblematic works and according to the composer ‘his favourite of his quartets,’ was written immediately after the end of the Second World War. The Quartet, also known as Shostakovich’s “War Quartet”, reflects the unspeakable hardships of life in the Soviet Union up through the end of WWII, during the increasingly bitter climate of the Cold War, which took their toll on Shostakovich: nervous, bitter and depressed, the composer found his most profound outlet in the safe privacy and intimate expressive capability of chamber music.
George Crumb: Black Angels for Electric String Quartet vs The Vietnam War
Crumb’s overwhelming Black Angels for Electric String Quartet was inspired by the Wa! r in Vietnam and represents the opposing forces of good and evil through a number of symbolic and programmatic allusions. Implying more than a purely metaphysical reality, the work primarily portrays the three stages of the voyage of the soul: Departure (fall from grace), Absence (spiritual annihilation), and Return (redemption).
Andreas Tsiartas: Taqsimi on an Armenian Lamento vs The Armenian Genocide
Tsiartas’ Taqsimi on an Armenian Lamento is a soulful, mournful and evocative piece, filled with folk elements and based on the poetry of Avetik Isahakyan. The work, which will receive its official world premiere in a candle-lit The Shoe Factory, is Pharos’ contribution to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial.
Founded in 2008, the Ergon Ensemble comprises some of the most talented soloists of our time, all graduates of the International Ensemble Modern Academy. An extremely flexible ensemble of immense versatility, Ergon is based on a core formation of musicians that is further reinforced, depending on the project, by a great number of guest and exceptionally talented young musicians. Besides its critically acclaimed concerts, Ergon is also involved in educational activities, CD recordings and inter-disciplinary collaborations combining various forms of performing arts such as dance, music theatre and multimedia.
One of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Greece, the Ergon Ensemble has appeared in renowned venues and music festivals in Greece and abroad, having received great critical and audience acclaim for the quality and precision of its performances as well as its ambitious and exciting programmes. Besides its dedication to the performance of the masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, Ergon, as an Athens-based ensemble with the advantage of direct access to the contemporary compositions by Greek co! mposers, is focused on the endorsement of Greek music internationally.
Recent highlights include its participation in the Suså Festival in Denmark and the Athens Festival, the productions Silent Film and Music, Peter Maxwell Davies: Icones, City Lives and Dream at the Megaron Athens Hall, Balkan Project and Alternativa at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Music and Electronics at the Goethe Institut. During the last seasons, the Ergon Ensemble has furthermore implemented a number of educational projects, focused on the encouragement of contemporary music creation amongst the youth.
The Ergon Ensemble collaborates closely with the German leading exponent of contemporary music Ensemble Modern, which regularly invites Ergon’s soloists to Frankfurt for joining forces in concert. Between 2013 and 2015, the Ergon Ensemble has been kindly supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.