The transcendence from earthly to eternal life – a musical exploration.
Confronting death or transience, and the hope in an after-life, have inspired many composers throughout history to their most important works. Be it a swansong that sees the culmination of a composer’s artistry, or simply a focus on the themes of death and mourning ( such as the Lamentation or Requiem settings of the sixteenth century), the expressive power of these compositions often underlines a zenith in an author’s oeuvre. Perhaps the reason for this lies in the ambivalence of the topic – moments of pain and fear vs. a peaceful calm. Striking dissonances contrast with, and give in to, flowing harmonies. The harsh clashes mirror the quarrels of earthly existence, leaving, as they disperse, everlasting peace.
This programme compares and contrasts a variety of works that focus on this transience and the emotions created by it. From despair to unshakeable belief, polyphony here is interspersed with the tranquillity of chant from the Requiem mass.
Includes works by Tallis, De Monte, Byrd.