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Directed by Eric Banks
The Esoterics is proud to present PENITENTIA, its fourth CD that features works of the Lenten liturgy by Poulenc, Pizzetti, d'Hollander, Herbolsheimer, and more. Francis Poulenc's Quatre motets pour un temps du penitence and Bern Herbolsheimer's Seven last words depict the final moments of Christ's agony. As the cloak of night descends upon this Lenten vigil, Tre composizioni corali by Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti and Trois nocturnes by Belgian composer Geert d'Hollander remind us that oppression often inspires the most profound spiritual contemplation. One eloquent result of such reflection was Precatio pro pace, an ancient poem by Janus Pannonius set by the Hungarian composer Miklos Paszti. Another was the unparalleled Pro pace motets of South African composer John Joubert, who designed a triptych around the poems of three medieval mystics - Scottus, Vulgarius, and Abelard - each offering a personal plea for peace: a prayer for mercy from the universal destruction of the Black Death, a lament on the day mankind invented weaponry to harm itself, and an ode that recounts Christ's Passion and Resurrection as the triumph of non-violent protest and ultimate pacifist victory.