ICTUS and ORCHESTRE DE L’OPÉRA NATIONAL DE LORRAINE
Tom De Cock, conductor
Sopranos in Proverb and Tehillim
Micaela Haslam, Caroline Jaya-Ratnam, Rachel Weston
Alto in Tehillim
Tenors in Proverb
Benedict Hymas, Gerard O’Beirne
CHARLES IVES: THE UNANSWERED QUESTION [1908, 6′]
For string orchestra, solo trumpet and group of four wind instruments
STEVE REICH: PROVERB [1995, 15′]
For five voices, percussion and electronic keyboards
GAVIN BRYARS: THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC [1972, 16′]
For string ensemble and tapes (sounds, voices and recorded music)
STEVE REICH: TEHILLIM [1981, 32′]
In four movements. For four voices, six percussionists and large ensemble
Proverbs presents a panorama of four 20th century ‘minimalist’ masterpieces, chosen for their introspective quality.
The programme was assembled around Steve Reich’s undisputed masterpiece, TEHILLIM. Inspired by the Psalms of David, Tehillim marks a moment of grace along the American composer’s path, with the work finding a magical balance between repetitive and hypnotic rhythms on one end, and the complex rhythms of Hebrew prayer on the other.
At the other end of the spectrum, revealing another meaning of ‘minimalism’, Gavin Bryars’ THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC dives into a conceptual and narrative – almost cinematographic – sound space, tinged with boundless melancholy.
Carefully lit, amplified and mixed in quadraphonic sound, this concert is more than the sum of its parts. It is conceived as a poetic and almost narrative moment (… the key here is the “almost”!). Without focusing on their meaning, but purely relying on the power of musical expression, the chosen works and their dialogue bring to life a “theatre in music”, a palette of sensitive ideas that mirror our most pressing concerns: the place of humans on Earth, the lies we tell ourselves, the possibility of collective suicide, and singing praise for the world’s beauty. Each of the work’s four scenes is linked to the next.