Mariologia — a dialogue with sacred texts and cultural memory
The Ukrainian ensemble Alter Ratio performed in a Viennese church of the late 19th century.
On November 5, Kyiv's vocal contemporary ensemble Alter Ratio performed its Mariologia concert
Ukrainian composers Sviatoslav Lunyov, Maksym Kolomiets, Oleksiy Retynsky, and Maksym Shalygin re-thought medieval religious texts dedicated to the Virgin Mary – "Alma Redemptoris mater", "Ave regina caelorum", "Regina caeli", and "Salve Regina".

Svyatoslav Lunyov noted: "When a composer starts working on such a topic, he is provided with the "grandeur design". The only thing left is to live with the imperfection of self."
"While working on this project, each composer enters into a dialogue not merely with sacred texts but also with the loop of cultural memory inherent in herein," explains the head of the ensemble Olga Prykhodko.

The Mariologia concert took place on November 5 at the 19th-century Church of the Votivkirche, having been built for 23 years with the contributions from all corners of the empire to thank God for saving the Emperor Franz's life from the attempted murder.
In the Christian tradition, Mariology is called an anthology of Latin medieval texts about the Virgin Mary. Four prayers to Virgin Mary were reinterpreted by four Ukrainian composers, creating musical pieces for the vocal ensemble of 12 soloists and musical instruments - harp, vibraphone, timbal, and tam-tam.

This work is a continuation of a long tradition of converting lyrics to music, ranging from Gregorian choral compositions to multi-layered and complex timbral compositions, based on modern techniques.

Interview with composer Maksym Kolomiyets on Mariologia concert is available on Radio Klassik (in German):

The concert was supported by the Ukrainian Institute under the bilateral year of culture Ukraine-Austria 2019.

Photo: Gerhard Flekatsch