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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55169
Recording details: October 1991
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Christopher Palmer
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: February 1992
Total duration: 16 minutes 9 seconds

Power Among Men – Fugues and Cantilenas
composer

Fugue No 1  [1'35]
Fugue No 2  [3'30]
Joyous Pastorale  [2'08]
Finale  [4'18]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The suite from the 1958 Thorold Dickinson documentary Power Among Men is entitled ‘Fugues and Cantilenas’ and sits very happily in the immediate vicinity of the 1957 Lively Arts Fugue and the 1962 Joyful Fugue. Do the fugues in Power Among Men, for all their formality and consistency, look back in spirit to the ‘fuguing tunes’ of the late eighteenth-century New England hymnodists like William Billings? Since this was a salient part of Thomson’s heritage the answer is probably ‘yes’. And inasmuch as ‘cantilena’ is a term used for a passage of particularly sustained melodic or lyrical quality—vocal or instrumental—each of Thomson’s ‘fugues’ could legitimately be described as a ‘cantilena’. But all Thomson is really canto, song, singing: even ‘Ruins and Jungles’, ostensibly a mood piece, is really a chorale in disguise, and the ‘Joyous Pastorale’ is an instrumental dance-song.

from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1992

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