Song to the Beloved
Veealused (animated film)
Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra
Fur Alina - piano
Stunningly desolate miniature for piano. Diatonic minor melodies over chord tones from B minor - announced via two Bs two octaves distant. I don't know that it could go on like this long, but what there is is quite effective. Recommended.
Trivium - organ
No tempos provided - Moosman takes rather slow tempos on his recording. The second movement perhaps the most interesting - chordal tones alternate with clusters, the third, empty, doesn't seem to work so well on the organ, the bare intervals sound off, though registration could save this. Nonetheless this is powerful music - especially number 2 - to play. All three variations on the same theme in essence - three in one.
Pari Intervallo - organ or four recorder
Playing it on the organ is like entering into a beautiful and desolate and sad world. Chord tones enter in and the atmosphere is not broken until the end. We have an almost Feldman-like sense of place combined with minimalist processes. Melody in thirds accompanied by tones from Eb minor. Recommended.
To the Waters of Babel We Were Sitting and Crying
Very much process oriented - ah, ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah. Aiming very much to sound like the organum examples of the Musica Enchiriadis mixed with a Romatic flavor of what they represent. Ending on big open fifths that are a little bit too overloaded for my taste. Otherwise, otherworldly. The tintinnabulum style is at play here, scalewise melodies, with triad tone accompaniment. Amazing how he can get so much sound from so little.
Wenn Bach Bienen Gezuchtet Hatte - piano, string orch, wind quintet Rev. 1984, 2001
Based on the B-A-C-H motive and, it appears, the B minor prelude from Book 1 of the WTC, this is a work that really "sounds" in the ensemble. Over a swirling mass the piano pounds out chords, the strings sometimes move into arpeggiations and the winds ratchet tension with solid triads. The whole sounds like the "Ride of the Valkyries" In the end it all breaks into a slower moment that acts as a processional before cadencing in a Bachian way. Title translates to "If Bach had been a beekeeper": how apt. One of the early "tintinnabuli" works.
Arbos - chamber ensemble
Gloriously powerful work for brass built on a simple concept. Chordal tones and modal melody combined moving down the scale following various patterned permutations. Split into rhythmic layers: 4x3/4; 2x3/2; and 3/1 give a constant rhythmic drive to the work. A bold Timaeus treatment. Recommended.
Cantate Domino Canticum Novum
Has the sound of a sequence with the quick conjunct melodic lines - are they entirely scalar - against which there is an almost change-ringing sense in the organ (at least in the version I heard). Bright, cheery. Some processual ideas bandied about.
Fratres - chamber ens. (string quatet - wind quartet)
A turn figure expands through neighbor-note inserts. Returning several times transposed down a third. Dynamics are in arch form. Contemplative. Makes use of prolongation techniques like Lerdahl does in his String Quartet - unknown the relation between the two.
Ferial mass of sorts, completely syllabic. For choir with organ in the version I heard. Each word is set as scalar fragments leading or descending to the focal pitch - thus "sanctam" might be G-A and "catholicam" E-F-G-A. Organ plays triad tones. Sets a mood quite well. Lays out on a smaller scale exactly what would happen in Passio.
Variations to the Recovery of Arinushka
Six variations, quite simple, for piano, really two sets of three: one "minor," one "major." The melody is triadic arpeggiations ending each on different melodic notes. The second variation adds above and below and the third adds a second line, so they blossom. Charming - good for an early piano student, but not much else.
Two movements: Ludus and Silentium for two violins, prepared piano (made quite evocatively and effectively to sound like bells) and strings. The first an additive play in a baroque style with a Bachian cadenza (could the model be Brandenburg 5?) The second devastatingly simple and devastatingly elegant another additve game on a dorian scale ascending and descending into nothingness: D is likely chosen because ending would be ending in silence on a four string bass with no extension. The effect is of something receding into the distance and at the same time circling - Timaeus through the eyes of the big-bang. Lovely. Recommended.
Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Devastatingly simple - a mensuration canon downward from A on the white keys with a bell that rings mechanically every few measures. Together it works so well, it sounds so good on the instruments, we have narrative harmonies even though they are not treated that way. Recommended.
Summa - ten, bar., 6 ins.
A near constant alternation of duos and the full quartet in the words of the Credo in Latin. We hear a relatively dense sounding- owing probably to the syllabic setting of the words - polyphony of e minor tones and scalar melody. Pärt is a creating a mass. It moves quickly and for this, frankly, I don't understand why there are myriad arrangements. Not as interesting as other works.
Spiegel im Spiegel - vc (or vn) and piano
Lullaby for violin and piano. Violin almost entirely stepwise each note a dotted-whole, the piano chord arpeggiations with an occasional bass bell and tiny high range twinkles. Quite beautiful and reflective, easy for children to play if not exactly for them to sell.
Calix (Dies Irae)
Would become a part of Miserere 1989
Fratres - vn, pno
The version for violin and piano changes radically the way we hear this piece: the foreground now becomes the background to at times frantic at times virtuosic at times unnecessary figuration from the violin. We open in a trance with the violinist playing the melody in bariolage and I imagine we are to have that feel throughout but it doesn't really come across as such. I'd say not as successful as the original.
For men's voices with organ, bell, bass drum and tam-tam. Setting of the psalm, words are treated in much the same was as in the Missa Syllabica - one note per syllable ascending or descending to the triad tone over the course of the word. The voice usage is treated rather systematically, broken down into a variety of duos and trios culminating in the full quartet along with the dynamic climax and then becoming quieter again. The organ part is similar to Pari Intervallo. Quite lovely.
Annum per Annum - organ
Organ in several movements each headed by the first letter of a section of the Mass. Indebted to the "Variations to the Recovery of Arinushka" in that each movement is a variation on a cantus firmus, here in D, that appears several times in the minor before abruptly switching to the major somewhere in the "Credo" Some nice moments in the Sanctus, but otherwise not all that remarkable.
Arbos - seven rec., 3 triangles
No recording of this version.
It is quite an experience sitting for this calming Passion narrative for choir, organ, soloists and small chamber ensemble. Repetitive patterns become normative, the division of the parts becomes more and more clear based on the material used - especially in relation to the use of dissonant tones - Pilate sings at a strange tritone distance from his final, the turba similarly using a cross-relation between the melody and modal pitches. The chorus at the end - finally D major after all this A minor - is swelling and gorgeous. I have issues with the construciton and the use of the construction but I can't have issue with the result which for the most part is sasifying once one gives oneself over to it and expects nothing more than it gives. Recommended.
Fratres - 4 vc.
A lovely rendition of this processional piece. The cellos begin in their highest register and move downward. Solemn.
Fratres - 8 vc.
Not really a separate piece. The four cello version with 2 per part.
Fratres - 12 vc.
The four cello version with 3 per part.
Fratres - str. Orch, perc
The chords have been spread over the string orchestra. The sound is less solemn and more menacing.
Sarah was Ninety Years Old
In seven sections dramatising perhaps programmatically the visitation of a child on Abraham's 90 year old wife, Sarah. Very dull ritualized percussion alternating with vocal entrances - four elements get shifted around, 1-2-3-4; 2-1-3-4; 3-2-1-4 and so forth. Opens up with the entrance of the organ and soprano. As an idea, bold, in practice not so interesting.
To the Waters of Babel We Were Sitting and Crying - small ensem.
No recording of this version.