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Credo / I believe

Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Credo / I believe
Subtitles & Versions
Incipit: Credo in unum Deum ...
Composer / Arranger: KASTELIC Matej
Music Co-author: LOTTI Antonio
Text Author: KASTELIC Matej
Text Source (Author): Liturgical / Worshiping Text [Catholic]
Detailed Scoring: for soprano and baritone soloists and mixed choir (SATBdiv) a cappella
Also published in: CREDO (Complete Edition)
Product Type: Chorus Part

I would also like to draw attention to the composers of Slovenia whose music features here. I have always admired and highly respected the Slovenian choral culture and tradition, and its combination of the full Slavic vocal sound with the European way of thinking and singing technique; this is brightly reflected not only in the sound of their choirs, but also in the music of Slovenian composers. The two composers I have chosen for this album are Ambrož Copi and Matej Kastelic. I have been incredibly impressed by the talent of the young Kastelic and his ability to touch the hearts of audiences in his piece Credo / I believe. It combines a number of compositional techniques, quoting numerous passages from Lotti’s well-known Crucifixus, and posits pertinent questions about the relevance of faith in today’s society. I believe this piece is worthy of standing among the greatest classical choral works.

MARIS SIRMAIS © 2023 Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the State Choir LATVIJA for Hyperion's CD production Credo (CDA68426)

Two opulent choral masterpieces by Richard Strauss frame an eclectic programme from one of Europe’s most highly acclaimed choirs. The name of the young Slovenian composer Matej Kastelic may still be relatively little known, but the title track Credo / I believe is simply extraordinary, and demands to be heard.

Matej Kastelic, a compatriot of Copi, was born in Ljubljana, where he too studied at Slovenia’s Academy of Music. He has composed for theatre and for choral forces. Dedicated to Copi, Credo / I believe bears comparison with certain works by Sandström, in that it embraces the notion of deconstructing both a verbal text and a much earlier piece of music—in this instance, the eight-part Crucifixus by the Venetian composer Antonio Lotti (1667–1740). Credo / I believe opens with ostensibly conventional plainchant, intoning the expected Latin text of the Creed. However, a spoken element in English soon arises in the background; unsettlingly, this ‘inverts’ the statement of the Latin text into a subversive or possibly accusatory question, after the fashion of a forced interrogation. The plainchant persists, becoming part of a mildly dissonant chorus. As yet, Lotti has made no detectable contribution, although hindsight will allow us to see Kastelic’s material here as 9 preparing the way for Lotti’s fractured emergence, not least because both ‘musics’ emanate initially from the bottom of the texture, bubbling up from the emotional depths. In due course the chorus takes over the interrogative ‘Do you believe?’—but cuts out before the words ‘in one God’. A keening soprano soloist is soon added, heightening the unsettlingly enigmatic nature of the unfolding drama. By now the whispering, agitating spoken voices are dis - mantling words into isolated syllables and the plainchant has disappeared, as if tuned out by distracting ‘white noise’. From this challenging terrain Lotti’s Cruxifixus begins to surface—but Kastelic displays masterly patience and control in feeding to the listener only inchoate, disfigured fragments; these form a kind of aural palimpsest. While the listener’s prior familiarity with the Lotti original is not essential, it will enable them the better to grasp the meeting points of quotation and re-invention. The Latin text accelerates, attaching itself to agitated four-note descending scales and emphasizing the narrative sequence ‘Crucifixus … passus … sepultus’ (‘Crucified … suffered … buried’). An angry climax is generated. At length, music recedes altogether and, literally, religion is all finished bar the shouting. From this degeneration into chaos arises a lone female voice, silencing the clamour by uttering the unthinkable: ‘No! I do not! Want to believe! Do you? Do you still believe?’ Reference to Kastelic’s spoken subtext makes explicit the composer’s subversive agenda: the interrogative voices may be those of contemporary political repression, representing some of the modern world’s challenges to faith; or they may be our own inner voice of disillusionment and alienation from religion. Similarly, ‘glorifying, rulers, kingdom’ may allude to some celestial world to come, or else (cynically) to ways in which established Churches of one hue or another have always expediently managed things to their own political and material advantage. Kastelic poses unanswerable questions and sits at the opposite end of a spectrum from the devotional conviction of Olivier Messiaen. Credo / I believe subsides finally into a troubled darkness, petering out rather than truly ending. The printed score includes visual and gestural instructions reflecting its composer’s experience writing for theatre; and the composition’s potential for visually arresting staging is not in doubt. The State Choir LATVIJA’s eclectic programme thus moves to a viscerally sombre conclusion, compelling sober reflection from its audience. 

FRANCIS POTT © 2023 for Hyperion's CD production Credo (CDA68426)

The State Choir LATVIJA and its Artistic Director Māris Sirmais invite audiences in the second half of August to the 26th International Sacred Music Festival, the most significant and tradition-rich sacred music event of the year.

We will celebrate the Festival finale on the 31st August 2023 at Riga’s St. Peter’s Church with the traditional concert of new works, which will also be dedicated to the memory of György Ligeti’s 100th birthday.

There is great interest around the premiere of young Slovenian composer Matej Kastelic’s mass Lux et Origo in which the composer, who is already well-known in Europe, explores the relationship of mysticism between God and people, explaining: “If one wants to believe in anything – God, religion, or simply honourable society, people, or even love – he must believe in himself first. That is how we should see every religion. This is also the reason for me to keep observing my thoughts and feelings, to deepen my mind – to be able to see the world clearly from my unique perspective. I believe in “God”, that is already in me, for the sake of expressing the best version of myself.”

31st August 2023, Thursday, 19:00

In Riga as part of the 26th International Spiritual Music Festival, the concert "Performed for the first time." Lighten up 100"

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Matej Kastelic: MISSA LUX ET ORIGO of which this "Credo" a part is

State Choir LATVIJA, conducted by Maris Sirmais.

Rīgas Svētā Pētera baznīcas nodibinājums  Stiftung St. Petrikirche Riga / St. Peter's Church 

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  • Model: AS 34.168/01
  • Weight: 58.00g
  • ISMN: M 979-0-709061-81-5
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