1393Re: [CalontirDance] Book Review, Part One
- May 10, 2010Hi Christian,
Thanks for posting this and sharing with the music community.
It's very interesting, but, well, I'm sorry to say my brain is a little too
much of a simpleton's to really appreciate it. Not really my cup of tea, in
terms of what I prefer to listen to.
That said... how very fascinating! He definitely doesn't sound like a
composer of his time, that's for sure.
What is it about his music that attracts you to him? Or is it more of a kind
of eerie fascination more than admiration?
Tell us more!
On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 9:44 PM, ChrisM <c.mortika@...> wrote:
> Okay. I've finished reading a pretty recently-published book on a
> Renaissance composer, and I thought I would try to write a review about it.
> But the book makes a lot of presumptions about its audience, so reviewing
> the book is to be hard without getting a running start.
> So, this is kind of a prelude to a book report on "The Gesualdo Hex," by
> this dude named Glenn Watkins. I'm hoping to start a discussion about some
> music, and then the most infamous murders in the history of music.
> First, I'd ask those among us who think this sounds intriguing to listen to
> a composition called "Ecco, moriro dunque"
> The sheet music is at
> A fantastic performance (by JovenCaFi, a string quintet):
> In particular, I'd ask you to listen for the chromaticism (the artful use
> of accidentals). There are other Renaissance compositions that use chromatic
> runs (the English Composer Simpson has a passage in his "Chromatic Pavane
> and Galliard" where at least one instrument or another is always moving
> half-step-wise downward. But that's a kind of stunt. It's "a thing to do
> with chromatics!")
> Gesualdo, the composer of the piece, uses chromatics in a much more mature
> way. The most severe comes in the first dozen or so measures of the Second
> Pars (which starts about 1:27 in the video performance. It's right there, in
> our face, but it's not a stunt. Those weird dissonances are there because
> they're the tools he needs to get the job done.
> Less intrusively, he uses all sorts of accidentals in the first phrases of
> the piece.
> I think it gives the piece a much more modern feeling, like program music
> of the 19th or 20th Century, rather than the 16th.
> Your thoughts?
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