Thursday, July 17, 2008

Composer credits chant

Interesting item the Litchfield County Times, profiling composer Libby Larsen of Minnesota:

"I am deeply in love with music," she said, a circumstance that has prevailed since childhood. She believes her love for music was innate but probably enhanced by her exposure to Gregorian chant during her time at a Catholic school. "I went to a Catholic school before Vatican II," she said. "All the kids learned to read and write music in first grade as a way of developing the fourth logic of the brain. It was amazing. With Vatican II that all went out the window because music changed in the Catholic church. Instead of chant it became call and response-rote response rather than deep understanding."
She said chant was sung in "churches that evolved acoustically with the sound." "I think I loved music because I had experienced it 'right,'" she said.
She has created more than 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to orchestral works and more than 12 operas, and has been described by USA Today as the "the only English-speaking composer since Benjamin Britten who matches great verse with fine music so intelligently and expressively."

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