Ear Supply: Spring Resurrection

Son-in-law of Rimsky-Korsakov, classmate of Stravinsky, teacher of Shostakovich: Maximilian Steinberg (1883–1946) was surrounded by three generations of musical fame without ever quite achieving it himself. Portland-based choir Cappella Romana calls his Passion Week “the last major sacred work composed in Russia after the imposition of communism,” which explains why it had to be published outside of the country, in Paris in 1927, and was never performed there. Few copies survived, but one was recently given to music director Alexander Lingas, who will lead the choir in the work’s first modern-day performances this weekend. (Thanks to Lingas’ revival efforts, including travel to St. Petersburg to study Steinberg’s manuscript, a CD recording and new critical edition are planned.) In the work’s 11 movements, Steinberg layered old Russian religious chants into a lush tangle of eight voices, sometimes more; its combination of medieval melodic purity and velvety opulence should appeal to anyone who enjoys the coeval choral works of Rachmaninoff or the contemporary ones of Arvo Pärt. St. Joseph’s Parish, 732 18th Ave. E., 503-236-8202, cappellaromana.org. $22–$41. 8 p.m. Sat., April 12.

 
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