Pavel Zemek Novák’s new piece Seven Last Words received its world premiere during the 25th year of the Brno-based Easter Festival of Sacred Music. It opened the third of the festival’s concerts named ‘Still Hymn’ which took place on 22 March in the functionalist Church of Saint Augustine and during which the Ensemble Opera Diversa conducted by Gabriela Tardonová performed exclusively contemporary European sacred music.
Seven Last Words is the author’s sixth piece dealing with the seven last word of Jesus on the cross already; it was for the first time, however, when he included the vocal score, too, namely on the text of the Good Friday Reproaches. The symbolism of number 7 is of major importance – from the piece’s seven parts six of them consist of seven bars of septuple meter – as well as that of number 3 which, according to the author’s words, is reflected in the three interweaving melodic lines as well as in the ternary form of the central part. The programme also included the music of Toivo Tulev (Estonia), Matthias Pintscher (Germany) and Alois Piňos; the evening was concluded by another Zemek’s piece, Still Hymn from 1997, after which the evening was named.
22 March 2016, Church of Saint Augustine, Brno
Easter Festival of Sacred Music
Pavel Zemek Novák: Seven Last Words (2015) — world premiere
Ensemble Opera Diversa, conductor: Gabriela Tardonová