22 September 2010

Second Republic

Back-of-the-envelope remarks on last night’s listen (Listen № 2) to De staat:

Not mad about the bleached-tofu concept of choral singing. I suppose it was something in the air at the time (in the period —after initial enthusiasm —when I wasn’t sure whether I liked The Desert Music, probably my ear’s complaint was largely the tone of the choir . . . it gets dull after a while).

That said, I think Louis creates a good balance between the presence of the choir, and the purely instrumental passages.

I understand the last note, and it’s a good note; I’m not sure that I am convinced that it’s an ending of the piece. Not that the piece need be any longer; it’s the right point at which to close the piece. The last note, though, feels to me like a hinge to a subsequent section (although, since the piece closes, there isn’t any subsequent section . . . and it’s a sonic cliff).

A couple of the busier sections feel too clunky to me. In the liner notes, Louis talks about be-bop rather than traditional orchestral writing; but the sections I am talking about lack the grace and flight of be-bop. Could well be what he wants.

Again: off-the-cuff thoughts which are more a matter of how I think differently; not presuming to send Louis back to the drawing-board.

Overall — I like it; Compositional endorsement rating — 80%.

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