Mstation Classical Reviews

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Mon, 30 May 2005

Sanctuary, the heart has its reasons

Peter Togni, Christoph Both,
Jeff Reilly, Sanctuary String Orchestra
Alain Trudel
LP, Warner Classics

This is a modern piece inspired by the words of Blaise Pascal "Le cour a ses raisons, que la raison ne connait point"... The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. The words were written in 1654 as the great scientist left science to pursue philospophy and theology.

And this is the humanist message that the music seeks to convey "perhaps more appropriate at the beginning of the twenty-first century than it was then."

The music is flowing and somewhat mournful and has a pared-back romantic feel to it to start with. Not that it's minimalist at all, it just doesn't have the largeness that surfaced in a lot of Romantic pieces. To some extent people's liking of this might be coloured by their likes of different instruments. There is, for example, quite a lot of clarinet and then quite a lot of cello.

Later, the feel becomes less Romantic and more sparse and there's an interesting mix of traditional harmony and more out there sorts of things.

It is nicely done, with both textural and harmonic interest and without that grating modernity that just wants to be noticed and doesn't particularly care how that end is achieved.

(Count K)

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