BRONIUS KUTAVIČIUS (b.1932): The Gates of Jerusalem.
Catalogue Number: 11R067
Reference: CD 21003
Description: In this 1995 work, Kutavičius illustrates the passage from the Book of Revelation describing the city of Jerusalem, with three gates in each of its four walls. Accordingly, the piece is in four movements each with three subsections. Each movement - East, North, South, West - borrows some aspect of the traditional music of that part of the world. Kutavičius' music has been aptly described as 'archaic and primeval'; in harsh timbres, ambiguous pitches and slow, ritually repeated gestures he conjures the impression that these are a reconstruction of some ancient rite. The repetition, pulsating rhythms and spare, open textures suggest an affinity with 'new spirituality', but the strangeness of the timbres suggest more the experience of immersion in the atmosphere of ancient ruins of potent but forgotten mystical significance than the spiritual uplift of a familiar religious celebration. The music is so compelling, and full of invention and surprises that the extremely odd sounds are accepted as a natural part of the landscape, as for instance when a passage of stately, densely dissonant counterpoint at the climax of the 'north' movement becomes a version of itself composed entirely of noise textures before resolving into a radiant chordal texture, or the minimalism of the first 'south' section is abruptly replaced by rough tribal drumming and a cacophony of skirling horns. 'West' is a luminous setting of the Stabat Mater, chanted amid a chorus of wrenchingly pained yet strangely beautiful dissonance and surrounded by the eternal resonance of a great bell, bringing this remarkable and multifaceted work to a close. No texts. Aidija Chamber Choir, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra Vilnius; Donatas Katkus. 2001 release not previously offered.