Rütti and Whitacre
Saturday 21 January 2012
St. Michael and All Angels Church, Bramcote, Nottingham
9.30 am - 5.00 pm
This year, for a change, we spent a day with two contemporary choral composers:
Eric Whitacre, whose music is all the rage at the moment, especially since the invention of his Virtual Choir, and
Carl Rütti - from Switzerland - who was inspired to compose choral music by hearing English choirs.
One of the key attractive features of Whitacre's music is the building up of sound-clusters across the texture - the soundscape is quite dense but sounds wonderfully translucent; it feels like being wrapped up in cotton wool, and exudes a sense of well-being. Try playing a scale on the piano with the sustaining pedal on - this is what he does chorally. In Lux Aurumque it gives the music a golden glow which makes us think of light and angels - exactly what the song is about!
The Seal Lullaby, inspired by Kipling's tale, proves Whitacre can write a really good singable tune - touching in its simplicity - you'll be humming it for weeks!
The work that really burst on the scene is Cloudburst, which brilliantly recreates a tropical storm, effected by the singers through an array of novel techniques - be prepared! Other works to be studied: When David heard and Leonardo dreams of his flying machine.
Carl Rütti's choral language has two key features: the building up of excitement through irresistible rhythmic elements, and the intriguing colour of unusual scalic patterns, neither conventional major/minor or modal. We shall study the lilting carol: I wonder as I wander and music from his recent Requiem.
Programme for the day
- 9.30 Registration
- 10.00 Rehearsal starts
- 11.15 Tea / coffee break
- 11.45 Rehearsal continues
- 1.00 Lunch*
- 2.00 Rehearsal continues
- 3.45 Tea / coffee break
- 4.15 Performance
- 5.00 Depart