For the second year running, VOX Cape Town will present a programme of music as part of the “In the Dark” series in the Youngblood Gallery organised by Biblioteek Productions. The evening will pair music by the minimalist Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) with the Renaissance polyphonist Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594).

Music by Arvo Pärt will include the hypnotic four-part prayer for peace “Da Pacem Domine” (“Give Peace, Lord”) and one of his most recent works, “The Deer’s Cry”. Turning back the musical clock 400 years, compositions by Palestrina will range from the effervescent “Exsultate Deo” (“Sing Joyfully Unto God”) to the reflective “Veni, Creator Spiritus” (“Come, Creator Spirit”). The latter piece, based on plainchant from the ninth century, will reverberate magnificently in the spacious acoustic of the Youngblood Gallery. Listeners are invited to wear blindfolds to immerse themselves fully in the music of these two iconic composers.

Youngblood Art Gallery, Bree Street, Cape Town
R150 (R100 for seniors and students)
Booking via

Arvo Pärt (b. 1935, Estonia) is a pioneer of the style called “holy minimalism” along with contemporaries Henryk Górecki and John Tavener. His most performed instrumental works include “Spiegel im Spiegel” (featured in Northern Lights: A Baltic Voyage) and “Fratres”, which will be played by a string quartet on 18 October. Pärt is known for his self-invented compositional technique called “tintinnabuli” and has written: “I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played.” Arvo Pärt’s music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant which immediately suggests a suitable pairing with early polyphonic music.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594) is considered by many to be the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time. An Italian Renaissance composer, Palestrina had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His output included over 100 masses and 300 motets. Born in Palestrina near Rome (hence his name), he lived until his late 60s – no mean feat in the 16th century.