Liturgical music with a light touch that never stoops to vulgarity.John Rutter has accomplished much towards bridging the the chasm between "high church" and "low church."He has managed to give us something "new" without besmirching or abandoning the beauty and integrity of a splendid tradition of longstanding.Work of this nature IS a compromise, of course, but one that should be wholly acceptable to all sensitive, thoughtful people who care about keeping music of good quality alive and well in God's House.
I like Rutter's music.But I have to say that I prefer "the old stuff," that is, the traditional tunes.The video posted here has outstanding images to complement the music. Nice pick, FT.
One modern composer whose work I absolutely love: Richard Wayne Dirksen. I had the privilege of working under his baton one summer when I was in one of the choirs at the National Cathedral.HERE is my favorite of Wayne's compositions.
That little monkey looking with trust and affection while touching noses with the white tiger sums up the intended message so beautifully.
Oh yes, AOW. That performance in Lincoln, Nebraska of all places gives me hope that the great tradition of excellence in American Church Music is still alive and well, despite the onslaught of "guitar masses," "Christian Rock (an oxymoron if ever there was one!), "Cocktails with Christ," "Hootenannies for Him" and "Praise Choruses."Your friend Dirksen's work is very fine, but it very much in a mode that was in vogue when I was still in high school -- BEFORE the vile desecration of our culture on all levels started to take hold. John Rutter on the other hand has confronted these terrible times more directly and given us a new approach that avoids the shock, stress and "creative destruction" inherent in "revolution."Funny! I've always sensed the great similarity between REVULSION and REVOLUTION could not be accidental.Anyway, it's wonderful to see tangible evidence that fine work is STILL being done, and manages to obtain support and encouragement.If salvation for our country should ever be attained surely it will come from the hearts and achievements of good people devoted to the pursuit of excellence and integrity.
I actually enjoy your music threads, Freethinker.I attended a performance of the Beethoven Quartet in A Minor. While it's not a liturgical work it certainly had a strong feeling of reverence.I'm curious how you would rate the work. There's a school of thought that considers the quartets to be among the greatest musical compositions of all time. On a real short list. Not really qualified to say but I find them transformative at times.
Thank you, Ducky. I'm not as familiar with Beethoven's late quartets as I ought to be, so I can't give an appraisal of any value, but having studied virtually all of his piano music and performed much of it over a fifty year period, I will gladly tell you that I find most of output to be "transformative." Most of the slow movements in all 32 piano sonatas, and certainly the last sonatas -- Opus 101, 106, 109, 110, and 111, The Diabelli Variations, The Fourth Piano Concerto, Opus 58, and The Kreutzer Sonata for piano and violin tap into primal sources of cosmic energy while reaching incomparable heights of sublime, soaring beauty and plumbing depths of spiritual, emotional, philosophical and intellectual significance to an extent most extraordinary in human experience.Some critic writing affirmatively about the poetry of Emily Dickinson used the term "landscapes of the soul."I think that applies to Beethoven far more. In his greatest works he showed intimate knowledge of the richness of an inner life few could begin to imagine for themselves.~ FT
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