By Ali Biddiscombe
Sublime voices and the pipe organ will soon combine in a musical feast to tell the story of Holy Week.
Lumina, a Perth-based vocal ensemble specialising in sacred choral music, will join Dominic Perissinotto (grand organ) in the concert, which will mark the beginning of Holy Week tracing Christ’s journey from Passion Sunday to His death and resurrection.
The ticketed concert, entitled Easter, will be held on Monday 26 March at 7pm in the Basilica of St Patrick in Fremantle and will provide the audience with a spiritual experience as they journey with the musicians through the five holiest of days.
Directed by Cameron van Reyk, Lumina will present moving acapella pieces to paint the picture of joy and suffering side by side.
Equally expressive organ pieces will be played in between the choral works by organ master Dominic Perissinotto, who is also the Director of Pipe Organ Plus and music at the Basilica.
The Easter program includes music by Weelkes (Hosanna to the Son of David), Bairstow (Prelude on the Plainsong Vexilla Regis), Tallis (Lamentations of Jeremiah), Franz Liszt and a selection of Gregorian chants.
“This is a program that focusses on the five distinct days of the most significant week in Church history; Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday where the stages are all honoured,” Perissinotto said.
“We celebrate Jesus’s ride into Jerusalem, then move to the washing of the feet, the Last Supper; the judgement and crucifixion on Good Friday; the desolation and quiet of his death through Holy Saturday and the joy and exaltation of the risen Christ on the Sunday.”
The music has been carefully chosen to reflect Holy Week and its significance in the Church calendar.
“Vexilla Regis is considered one of the greatest hymns of the liturgy. The hymn has a strong connection with the Cross and is fittingly sung at Vespers from Passion Sunday to Holy Thursday and on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. The hymn was also formerly sung on Good Friday when the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the repository to the altar.”
Perissinotto said the program would be rich in Christian history and music, and would appeal to a wide audience and to those for whom Easter is of particular spiritual significance.
“Equally as poignant is the selection of the Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah which follow some Catholic liturgical conventions, but also go beyond liturgical propriety. This First Lesson, for instance, contains the first two verses of the Biblical book of Lamentations as they would have been sung on Maundy Thursday,” he concluded.
The concert is the first of four for Pipe Organ Plus 2018 and marks the 18th anniversary of the series.
To purchase tickets for the event, visit: trybooking.com/TATI