Art in Times of Corona: Netherlands Chamber Choir streams 150 psalms in 150 days
The performances were recorded during the 150 Psalms project, a ‘monumental ode to 1,000 years choral music’, which premiered at the 2017 Early Music Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The psalms are performed by 4 internationally renowned choirs: initiator the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Tallis Scholars, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.
De themes of the psalms, like powerlessness and suffering, but also trust, leadership and hope, are nowadays highly relevant – especially during these trying times in which the coronavirus has hijacked the world. The choirs are sharing these performances in the hope of bringing a positive message into the world, connecting audiences worldwide in this 150-days online event.
Tido Visser explains about his most recent initiative: “The psalms and their underlying themes are nowadays as relevant as they were when the texts were written. They are essentially a mirror of today’s society, and this music has the ability to offer a moment of comfort and hope during these difficult times. With this extraordinary project we were already able to reach an audience spread across the globe, but now we would like to share this music with everyone worldwide, digitally. We hope people will join us in listening to these Psalms, and feel connected with the music, with the singers, and most importantly, with each other. This way, we can keep listening to music and fill a global silence, and look forward to meeting each other in real life again.”
For this choral project, theologian Gerard Swüste divided the 150 Psalms into 12 different themes, like safety, suffering, leadership and mirror for today’s society.
The project 150 Psalms was initially conceived by Tido Visser (artistic and managing director Netherlands Chamber Choir) in 2017 for the Early Music Festival Utrecht. The four choirs performed musical settings of all 150 psalms, by 150 different comporsers, in 12 concerts spread over 2 days. The choirs travelled further across the globe with this marathon concert tour, having performed the project in New York (2017), Brussels (2018) and Adelaide (2020).