Antiphonus: J.S. Bach – Johannespassion

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You probably remember our wonderful and multitalented opera singer Ana from her Meet the People feature here.

We asked Ana to present her ensemble, Antiphonus, for us and to tell us something about their upcoming performance of Bach’s Johannespassion.

“The members of Antiphonus intertwined after a long history of singing and music-making in various groups. As educated musicians of various disciplines, they finally crystallised into a homogeneous group in 2008. Nourishing the sound that aims for a melange between the traditions of a full-bodied eastern European vocal sound and Western ideals of balance and purity, they are building a wide-ranging repertoire–from the plainchant to the recently written, crossover, and commissioned works. Paying special attention to Croatian contemporary music, Antiphonus premiered pieces of Croatia’s most notable composers, but also gave the first contemporary performances of newly emerged works from the dusty library stacks.

Antiphonus has performed at every major Croatian Festival, including the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Music Biennale, Dubrovnik Early Music festival and Varaždin’s Baroque evenings; during last summer’s tour on the SEVIQC festival with Monteverdi’s madrigals, Slovenian public radio engaged Antiphonus to record them, together with the works of Slovenian baroque composers.
Their performance crowned the festive concert of Croatia’s accession to the EU and represented Croatia at Croatie, le voici, a French festival celebrating Croatian culture.

The group records frequently for Croatian national television, and its album of Croatian renaissance and baroque music, recorded with Dmitry Sinkovsky, Krešimir Špicer and Edin Karamazov among others, is to be released soon. Antiphonus’ production of Purcell’s opera Dido & Aeneas toured all the major Croatian festivals.

Antiphonus has two concert seasons in Zagreb: Triade, showcasing vocal chamber music, madrigal, and baroque opera; and sacred a cappella and oratory cycle Trinitas, which features works such as Monteverdi’s Vespro and J.S. Bach’s Johannespassion. The Trinitas cycle was awarded the prestigious “Milka Trnina” prize for 2016.

And it is the Johannespassion that Antiphonus will, once again, introduce to the audience in the central event of 2016-17’s Trinitas concert season.

The ensemble will perform a chamber version of the piece, with only 26 musicians – with soloists also singing the tutti parts, and every single instrumentalist breathing in tandem with the singers. This heightens and highlights the dramatic moments of the Passion, those most poetic and intimate arias and most beautiful chorales of Lutheran tradition.”

Antiphonus would like to cordially invite everyone to experience this event, and you can find more details about it here.


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