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Hyperion Records

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Mystical Tree (1996) by Peter Davidson (d1999)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67787
Recording details: March 2009
Exeter College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Andrew Mellor
Release date: January 2010
Total duration: 7 minutes 58 seconds

'From the vibrancy of the very first track, the lively imagination of Rautavaara's writing for voices, the pungent palette of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and the clarity and spacial excitement of this record, are immediately apparent' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The music may be as soft-centred as melting chocolate, but the performances have real fire and beauty' (The Irish Times)

Canticum Mariae virginis
First line:
Ave maris stella
composer
1978
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Though the beginning and end of Canticum Mariae virginis (1978) sound like an aleatoric sound field surrounded by soprano and bass melodies, the music here is precisely notated. Organized symmetrically in many ways, the work opens with a strict ten-part canon for altos and tenors on a melody which is in itself symmetrical—a palindrome. The soprano and bass melodies that appear above and below this field are mirror images of one another, and the finest example of symmetry in the work appears at the words ‘Beatam me dicent’, a section which is even graphically symmetric in the score, the high soprano and low bass utterances being symmetrically placed on the page.

In the canon sections, the initial harmony with semitone tensions eventually resolves into a calmer, pentatonic harmony. Towards the end, this is joined by bell-like tones (come campani) in the bass part. The fragmented motifs in parallel fourths, sung by the sopranos, as well as the overall principle of symmetric organization, reappear in the Magnificat and also in Katedralen.

from notes by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi © 2010

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