Such Profound Text, But Why Such Happy Music?

Listen to the Story

The music belongs to the time, not necessarily to the text(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/francescogola/)
The music belongs to the time, not necessarily to the text(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/francescogola/)

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, the resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about how such sad, profound text can carry with it cheerful music.

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/SpeaktheAudiencesLanguage1.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

Albert-George: “One of the very first pieces I conducted as a student was (Giovanni Battista) Pergolesi‘s Stabat Mater, and it’s a beautiful piece. So this very profound and sad text of the vision that Mary had as she saw her son on the cross, set to music that unfailingly did not seem unhappy. And I grappled with it: How can text that is so profound be set to such music that is almost like dance music?”

Albert-George: “I learned (the music) was the vernacular. It was the music that people heard in those days. And moreover, it was music that was based on dance forms. So I found it a great dichotomy til I learned about the vernacular.”

Albert-George: “I guess what we’re doing is making a good case for music of our own time that expresses our own vernacular. Now, a lot of it is tense because we live in such tense times.”

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