Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Premiere of "Anima Christi" by Charles Culbreth

I had the brief pleasure of an impromptu chat with Jeffrey Tucker yesterday afternoon. We were commiserating about his post comparing our era with MR3 "seismic shift" to that of the late sixties. But I happened to mention that a work I'd done over the summer of 2007 was going to be premiered at a concert at our parish church last night, and Jeffrey said "Post on it, Charles!" Well, after a day of teaching the kids at school, and whatnot, Wendy helped me finally get around to getting the YouTube up and running.

Some background about my setting-

First of all, the college chose my approved abbreviated version, eight of the twelve petitions are sung. Each petition has its own ethos, so to speak, unified only by a magnetic attraction to "C" as the nexus. Lots of tone painting can be extrapolated off the page or to the ear. The choral score shifts from four to twelve voices throughout sections. I always envisioned the piece as one that only collegiate, professional or highly skilled church choirs could negotiate its demands.

However, my sister in law's high school choir gave a fairly good reading back in 09, though "Russian basses" were not to be found. My buddy at our local college was generous to give it a go, and here is the result of that effort. What was ultimately gratifying is that the kids in the choir "got" the deep mystery of "the dark night of the soul" that I tried to infuse into the score. But it still is a work in progress, and I'm grateful that the college choir will continue exploring it for the rest of the semester and take it to collegiate festivals. Prosit, enjoy (I hope.) Glory to the Holy Trinity.