Jay Schwartz: Music for Six Voices

Jay Schwartz Music for Six Voices
Music for Six Voices

Jay Schwartz: Music for Six Voices

Year of composition:
2006
Scored for:
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass or for mixed choir
Composer:
Jay Schwartz
Commission:
Commissioned by Südwestrundfunk Stuttgart, Germany
Duration:
14’
Dedication:
for the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Germany
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Audiosamples

Music for Six Voices
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Work introduction

A recorded spoken text can be digitally decelerated to such an extreme that vowels will become long extended glissandi. In this manner I analysed for music for six voices each word of a given text and used the pitches and ranges of the glissandi yielded by the vowels as compositional building-blocks. The text itself, however, has neither been set to music, nor does it appear in the score. The text is intentionally concealed and is to remain enigmatic.  The sounds to be sung are limited to the primitive, archaic human utterances of 'm' and 'a'.

The fascination with an aesthetic of extreme deceleration is a primary focus of my compositional work. Recordings of chamber music of the Classical and Romantic eras, especially the music of Schubert, had a very shaping force on my musical thought early on.  In the recordings, which I repeatedly listened to, almost to the point of satiety, I was fascinated mostly by the places between themes, the prolonged cadences and transitions in which one can hear the hair of the bow and the breathing of the musicians, where the listener becomes captivated awaiting the coming sounds and themes. These spots in the music have most certainly had the strongest influence on my musical ideas. The occurrence of the beginning of a sound, the first barely audible noises from the bow, the evolution of the sound as the speed and pressure of the bow increase, the first barely audible airy utterances of the voice: these are the components of my compositional ideas of form. It is as if I am putting these incidents under a microscope and enlarging them by a thousand fold. Or better: it was my wish to crawl into these spots and to linger there in the space between silence and sound. 

Jay Schwartz

Special prints

Music for Six Voices

Jay Schwartz: Music for Six Voices

study score
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass or for mixed choir , 14’

Music for Six Voices

Jay Schwartz: Music for Six Voices

study score
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass or for mixed choir , 14’

World première

Location:
Stuttgart
Date:
04.04.2006

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