Monday, May 05, 2008

Living Music Festival 2008: Saturday

Christchurch Cathedral

Stephen Layton (conducting)

This was all choral all the time, with these Polyphony people performing various short religious choral pieces by Pärt, and a couple of others by some Poulenc guy. Poulenc seems to have been some French shagger before he got religion and started writing loads of god-bothering work. Although there were no musical instruments being played, the singers were effectively being accompanied by the audience – not through their singing along or giving them the rhythmic clap, but through their inability to sit still despite the Cathedral's provision of the world's creakiest chairs.

What did I think of the music? Ah sure it was grand, it's always nice to hear the religious music in an actual church. I'm not sure if I was actually blown away by it, though, and I found myself wondering if choral music is not actually my favourite form of classical music after all. The piece were they just roll through all the ancestors of Jesus Christ was entertaining, though, and a great source of funny names to afflict on children.

We didn't get tickets to the evening performance in Christchurch of Pärt's musical scoring of St. John's Passion, but we heard from someone later that it was "fucking tedious", being just a load of people chit chatting away to each other only singing their lines rather than speaking them. This meant it never really gelled as actual music, though it might be something you could get more into if you were, you know, religious.

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