This proves the general popularity of the antiphonies
These are the petty responsories, these are the dear antiphonies
that so bewitched of late our prelates and their chaplains with the goodly echo they made; and besotted us to the gay imitation of a lordly Imprimatur, one from Lambeth House, another from the west end of Paul's, so apishly Romanizing that the word of command still was set down in Latin.
In "The Antiphonies
of Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings and Pictures and Conversations" (in Devlin, 1987), Peggy Whitman Prenshaw explores the autobiographies of Elizabeth Bowen and Eudora Welty for what they reveal about women and autobiographical writing in the twentieth century, arguing that Welty uses her autobiographical writing to negotiate her relationship to family and to the public in ways that ensure both her artistic independence and her continued access to her family and her audience.
My collection of Antiphonies - integrations between technological outputs and human performer interaction - are instances of this fusion.
But also the interactive work done with technology and groups, as in the Antiphonies, easily mapped into the question: "Could I ask the solo performer to be a group?
in Blow up the trumpet in Sion (a truly astounding piece of work for an 18-year-old) the massive antiphonies
are impressive enough, but the exciting dotted-rhythm opening loses power because the semiquavers tend to be swallowed; the tortured chromatic writing later on is wrenchingly expressive in places, but elsewhere needs more sustained singing for full effect; and a lack of rhythmic urgency in the concluding section draws the sting of the final derisory cry of ~Where is their God?
I have composed numerous works for multiple voices: for women - for men, - both; sacred, secular, a capella (such as those being performed tonight); experimental (such as the Antiphonies
with tape); and some with no text (working with phonetic language instead).
Paul in Strasbourg; according to the composer's directions, the performers were placed on four sides of the church interior--the organ at the back, Les Percussions de Strasbourg ensemble in front by the altar, a large and small mixed choir to the left, and a solo soprano to the right (in the pulpit); hence the symphony's name, Antiphonies
(the conductor stood in the middle facing the percussion instruments and the choir).
They are worthily partnered: thanks to exemplary recorder and continuo playing the intricate antiphonies
and rich five-part counterpoint of Blow's score can be savoured, for once, as fully through the ears as through the eyes.