This one sideswiped me this morning. Things start to get interesting about 3:27. The tuning in this recording could be a little tighter (all the better to hear the dissonance my dear), but this will give you an indication of what I heard:



I'm still hearing Legeti in there, though Albright (in my opinion) doesn't take it far enough. But he did take on the Chichester commission, not a challenge to be taken lightly for an American composer, especially after Leonard Bernstein's beloved Chichester Psalms.

I've been thinking a lot about 'cognitive dissonance' with regard to sacred music and people's relationships to it. (Bernstein, for example.) I have some stronger words about it for another time.

With regard to the musical dissonance (and I highly recommend clicking on the Legeti link, which I've featured before on last month's post re: Benjamin Britten's A Boy is Born) what I love about the dissonance is its evocative of a kind of terrifying encounter with the sublime. To me this is as much the sound of the sacred (if not more so) as pretty harmonies.

I suspect there could be a tie to negative dialectics here, but I would not presume to explore it without a better knowledge base.
I just got back from an evening out:

1. Renaissance Project concert - I've been flirting with the idea of joining this group out of Boulder that does mostly late-Renaissance polyphony. This evening's fireworks were Monteverdi's Beatus Vir, (the text of which is Psalm 112) which featured the choir accompanied by two violins, a violoncello, bass, and harpsichord. After the rest of the evening of Motets (including several Lamentations) it sparkled like champagne. I am ordinarily not a fan of the Baroque, but it just went to my head. I find the polyphonic soothing, anyway, but the Beatus Vir lifted the roof off the house. This is a well known and often performed piece, but it was still beautiful. Even stranger, there must have been about 200 people in attendance. There were probably 50-75 the last time I attended one of their concerts. And they do sing-a-longs, so I will probably be joining them for some of those before deciding if I will join the choir. I'm still leaning toward the cathedral choir, but this choir would be a way of accessing the music without having to deal with the church aspect, towards which I am still hesitant.



2. Secret Stan/Satan - hadn't planned to attend. Glad I went. Had a nice time. Thank you all!

3. Rock Band - I can't begin to say how touched I am that you named your female drummer after me! For those about to rock, I salute you!

A lovely and TOTALLY UNPRODUCTIVE day. How can I be so busy? I am unemployed!
So the concert was very good, but different than what I expected. It was, indeed, focused around sacred works, but Instead of ancient & modern, the concert focused primarily on 19C nationalistic composers what seems to be an ongoing theme in scholarship: the 19C invention of the past.

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zalena

June 2015

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