JOHAN DUIJCK (b.1954): Alma de la Música for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 16, Cantar del Alma for Contralto, Chorus and Piano, Op. 24, Alma, búscate en Mí for Chorus and Organ, Op. 25.
Catalogue Number: 04J100
Description: These works set texts by three 16th century Spanish mystical poets. The first, for the largest forces, is also the most extended, and deals with the rebirth of the soul through the power of music. Duijck's vocabulary is tonal, not infrequently reminiscent of Britten or Bernstein, and harmonically sumptuous, recalling Rachmaninov, with more agitated, vigorous episodes taking on some of the trenchancy of Shostakovich. More meditative passages have a flowing, dreamlike quality, approaching the worlds of Tavener or Vasks. The piano plays an important role, and takes over the accompaniment for the melodic and mysterious second work, again harmonically rich and reflecting the composer's work as choir director in its original and idiomatic writing for the choir, which has the lion's share of the musical argument here, while the soloist is given some ravishing extended lyrical material. The final work is a dialogue between the Soul and God, introducing some marvelous contrapuntal writing between the divided choir and the organ, as a whole achieving a rare combination of instant accessibility with musical ingenuity and uncompromising emotional depth. Spanish-English texts. Hilde Coppé (soprano), Noëlle Schepens (alto), Ignace Michiels (organ), Hans Ryckelynck (piano), Gent Madrigal Choir, Flemish Radio Choir, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense; Johan Duijck.