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The first 3 paragraphs of the score posted at Other Minds:
All performers play from the same page of 53 melodic patterns played in sequence.
Any number of any kind of instruments can play. A group of about 35 is desired if possible but smaller or larger groups will work. If vocalist(s) join in they can use any vowel and consonant sounds they like.
Patterns are to be played consecutively with each performer having the freedom to determine how many times he or she will repeat each pattern before moving on to the next. There is no fixed rule as to the number of repetitions a pattern may have, however, since performances normally average between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, it can be assumed that one would repeat each pattern from somewhere between 45 seconds and a minute and a half or longer.
The first 4 lines of the score as it appears in the 2nd edition of Ralph Turek's Analytical Anthology of Music:
All performers play from the same part.
There are 53 repeating figures, played in sequence.
They are to be taken consecutively with each performer determinig the number of times he repeats each figure before going on to the next.
The pulse is traditionally played by a beautiful girl on the top two octaves of a grand piano. She must play loudly and keep strict tempo for the entire ensemble to follow.
Another notable deviation between these two versions of the scores is that in the OM version, he explicitly indicates how the piece should end. In the Turek version, he does not. In general, the Turek version is much more open and poetic, much more 1964 than the OM version, which is a little more clinical and PC.
It would be interesting to know the history of this revision to the score.
Regarding a comment about erotic text in choral music and a religious choir, a controversial choice can can cause unintended results and schisms.
A couple years ago for an oratorio, I had in mind a "nightmare" movement involving a somewhat occult/erotic text by Baudelaire. At one of the early discussions with the commissioning ensemble, there was a minor shockwave and controversy. Some of the devout among the choir had philosophical allergies to this particular text. I settled on something else, as I felt it my job to make them sound good without dividing them on such issues. But I've sometimes wondered what might have been... maybe I can still use it one day.
Have others had similar experiences? Different solutions? Have you gone to the mattresses over the issue? (sorry...)
posted by Cary Boyce
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Will choral music always be tonal?
I am a huge fan of the late Stravinsky choral works: Requiem Canticles, Canticum Sacrum, Sermon, Narrative and a Prayer, The Dove Descending (Anthem), Babel, and Introitus. (Less fond of The Flood and Threni and those hideous late pieces of Schoenberg.) It seems these works rarely get performed. I remember MTT doing Requiem Canticles in LA in the 80s. It was peculiar to see the string section sitting around with not a hell of a lot to do. It never occurred to me as I got to love that music that it might not be gratifying for the orchestra to play. His cutaway scores seemed to create an orchestration that fostered a roomful of individuals rather than an orchestra.
What I wonder is whether choruses today and in the future will avoid masterpieces like Ligeti's Requiem, or his Lux Aeterna, the Webern cantatas, or the late Stravinsky choral music, just because it's too hard for singers to hear.
What choruses really seem to want is the warm and fuzzy music of Randall Thompson and the ilk; the new age tonality served up by Morton Lauridsen. Stuff they can HEAR. Most choruses in the world are community choruses and they sing what they are able to. Professional choruses are rare in the US. We live with one in LA (LA Master Chorale) and they are supportive of [some] new music.I think the government supported European choruses of the 50s and 60s are long gone. I know that Erik Erikson and his group are famous for being the Kronos of the choral world. But besides them, will choruses of the future perform non-tonal music? Would you compose a large scale "atonal" work at this point in time?
posted by Roger Bourland
Does anyone know if Terry Riley ever revised 'In C'?
Also, can anyone point me to the score for Ligeti's "The Future of Music"?
posted by jodru
Monday, August 21, 2006
New Music Clarification
I've adopted a boilerplate for New Music Liner Notes:
In this work, the composer defibrillates the imitative cells in their discreet segmentation in the form of invariant and hypoglycemic polyphonic inversions. The harmonic milieu, and its subsequent extraterrestrial ambulation, signifies the victimization and hardcore politicization of its own internal variable discontinuities. Therefore, when the rhythmic propulsion, or percussive lack thereof, (and the resulting soaring stagnation of imaginative orchestrational "strata") incorporate the emasculation and subsequent feminizing of the coda-like appendage, the final augmentation (soon diminished) hangs in suspended animation for the duration of the tintinnabulatory extrusion of the vestigial virginal form.
posted by Cary Boyce