Thursday, January 28, 2010
Martin : Et in terra pax
Then came the second half. From the first chords of the music, I was transported to another era. The music was grainy, gritty, black and white. I remember, in particular, seeing the tenor sing the words of the beatitudes (track 9). Each one he sang more softly, until at the last line – Father, forgive them, they do no know what they are doing – he achieved a breathtaking pianissimo. Even the concluding chorus – Holy is the Lord God, Who was, Who is and Who is to come – holds out hope but doesn't suggest that everything will be fine instantly.
Afterwards, we looked around. It was clear from the applause and the faces of the audience that they would have preferred more sub-Gershwin. But I was convinced that I had heard a masterpiece. Much less pretentious than Britten's War Requiem, it's a work that convinces through those two reliables: personal integrity and good part-writing.
This performance is in German, but none the worse for that - Martin himself supervised the version.
Catherine Naglestadt, Doris Soffel, Charles Workman, Christian Gerhaher, Ralf Lukas
MDR Symphony orchestra and choir, Hartmut Haenchen
mp3 @ 256 kbs
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