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The I AM Sayings of Jesus

The I AM Sayings of Jesus

composer
1996-2007
author of text
verses from Exodus, John and Revelation

 
The ‘I AM’ sayings of Jesus are pillars of the New Testament, and refer back provocatively to the sacred Name of God revealed to Moses at the burning bush of Exodus. Comforting and perplexing at the same time, they create metaphors which allow Pitts free rein in his word painting. While these eight interlinked movements possess an individuality and solidity of musical expression, there is nevertheless an undercurrent of turbulence and restlessness. The interpretation of these canonic sayings can never be straightforward, and their musical settings sound fragile and monumental at the same time: they are simultaneously simplistic and virtuosic, logical and serendipitous. For every moment where musical common sense prevails there is a passage where, Escher-like, the conventions of melody and harmony spiral into a continuum where perspective is distorted.

Each of the motets in the ‘I AM’ cycle is set for a different number of voices ranging from one to eight: ‘The Door’ is a single melodic line, ‘The Way’ is a duet, ‘Before Abraham’ a trio, ‘The Bread’ a quartet, ‘The Light’ a quintet, ‘The Vine’ for six voices, ‘The Resurrection’ for seven, and the final ‘Alpha and Omega’ for eight voices. While these dispositions clearly affect the sound of each piece, it is remarkable that all eight motets inhabit a world that is empirically choral; in short, there is nothing missing in the sparser movements and nothing overblown in the fuller ones.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2008

Recordings

Pitts: Alpha and Omega
Studio Master: CDA67668Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

No 1: Before Abraham was, I AM  I AM that I AM
Track 7 on CDA67668 [5'45]
No 2: I AM the Bread of Life
Track 8 on CDA67668 [4'34]
No 3: I AM the Resurrection and the Life  Lazarus is dead
Track 9 on CDA67668 [4'46]
No 4: I AM the Light of the World
Track 10 on CDA67668 [2'11]
No 5: I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life  I and the Father are one
Track 11 on CDA67668 [3'38]
No 6: I AM the True Vine
Track 12 on CDA67668 [7'43]
No 7: I AM the Door – I AM the Good Shepherd  Amen, amen, I say unto you
Track 13 on CDA67668 [4'17]
No 8: I AM Alpha and Omega
Track 14 on CDA67668 [8'12]

Track-specific metadata for CDA67668 track 11

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-08-66811
Duration
3'38
Recording date
8 June 2007
Recording venue
Bromley Parish Church, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Stephen Rice
Recording engineer
Mike Skeet
Hyperion usage
  1. Pitts: Alpha and Omega (CDA67668)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: February 2008
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