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Stabat Mater in 'just intonation'!


The Goeyvaerts String Trio has recorded a pioneering new album with work of Arvo Pärt and Ivan Moody. The CD could even cause quite a stir, but mainly it is predicted that this music and the way it is performed and recorded will enchant many music lovers!

Watch the promo video here!

The Goeyvaerts String Trio employs just intonation for the Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater, although equal temperament* is the most commonly known and used. The decision to play the work in this way stemmed from a certain degree of uneasiness during the initial rehearsals. The ostensible simplicity of the score should not have posed any problems for these experienced interpreters. However, it rapidly became clear that the harmonic shifts and plangent harmonies that are intrinsic to Pärt’s music seemed to be beyond taming. Previous performances had dealt with this ‘noise’ by using vibrato, which broadens the tuning of the strings. The sound palette generated by this is lyrical, without sounding too pinched. It makes me think of my own experience with the icon, whose beauty touches me even though I find the golden, jewel-encrusted frame to be too distracting. The Goeyvaerts String Trio was looking for a sober depth, with no vibrato. The Stabat Mater is not an icon surrounded by jewels. It is an expression of suffering and solace. Just intonation seemed to be the optimum solution. Surprisingly enough, the effect is not one of a strict recitation of notes; what unfolds is an opulence of sound that immediately carries the listener along. This performance of the Stabat Mater reveals something that cannot be put into words, and this may explain its intense beauty.

The Goeyvaerts Trio will give a tour of release concerts together with the great singers Barnabás Hegyi (counter-tenor) Zsuzsi Tóth (soprano) and Olivier Berten (baritone). 

19th March 2014,20u15: Sint-Pietersbandenkerk, Lommel (Belgium)

20th March 2014,20u00: Sint-Niklaaskerk, Willebroek (Belgium) OFFICIAL RELEASE CONCERT!!

21st March 2014, 20u00: St-Quintinuskathedraal, Hasselt (Belgium)

15th April 2014, 20u00: Kasteel Heeswijk, Heeswijk (the Netherlands)

The cd will be available from March 20!

*The standard today is equal temperament, in which the pitches are distributed proportionately so that all twelve of them are at ‘equal’ wavelengths from one another (a note’s exact pitch is thus arbitrary). Pure intonation is an early form of tuning. Intervals are distributed unevenly but ‘purely’ across the octave based on natural overtones (e.g. from C to C is a wave frequency ratio of 2:1)

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