Friday, March 29, 2013
Music for Good Friday
Entry for 29 March 2013:
I think George Crumb's Black Angels (Thirteen Images from the Dark Land), written during the Vietnam war for amplified string quartet, captures the battle between the forces of light and darkness in the Passion story, and speaks to the horror of the crucifixion, going beyond the mood of sadness say at the end of Bach's St Mark Passion, played live tonight on BBC Radio 3.
I thought of Crumb's dramatic and eerie music tonight during our Good Friday evening service, when Jesus' last words were shouted out, but it could also be a sound track also for the rest of the story: the arrest in the garden, the trial, the scourging etc. It has a similar modernist starkness to Gwyneth Leach's Stations of the Cross paintings, used in the service tonight (see http://wanderingmedic.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/death-on-the-cross/) with their depiction of soldiers carrying automatic weapons, guard dogs, and barbed wire. If you don't know Black Angels and are curious (it's definitely not going to be to many people's tastes), you can find live performances of it on You Tube for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5a2RXA2Jn8 . (Yes, they really are playing musical water glasses with their violin bows.)