Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Exploring the Apollonian and Dionysian - premiere of Matthew T Hall's Cantata

Matthew T Hall
Matthew T Hall
Tomorrow morning (25 May 2016 at 11.50am), I will be taking part in the world premiere of Matthew T Hall's Cantata at Blackheath Halls. London Concord Singers will be be joining an instrumental ensemble of 16 students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, conducted Jonathan Tilbrook (head of orchestral studies at Trinity Laban) and soloists Sam Jewison (tenor, as the Voice of Apollo) and David Jones (baritone, as the Voice of Dionysius).

Matthew T Hall is a young composer who is studying at Trinity Laban, and his Cantata is a large-scale piece which explores the Apollonian and Dionysian in art, and in life, via settings of symbolist poetry. Hall has drawn from a range of poets including Alexander Blok, Walt Whitman, Friedrich Nietsche, Arthur Rimbaud, and Pablo Neruda. The text is intended to express the ideals represented by the Greek gods Apollo & Dionysus via a rich network of common symbols (such as the Sun). Dionysius affirms our mortality and our vitality by engaging with the destructive, the creative and the intoxicating (death, sex and wine), whilst Apollo represents a great many things, among them music, the Apollonian ideal appeals to logic, structure and 'beauty through form'. The poems are sung through the 'voices' of the two gods, provided by tenor (Apollo) and baritone (Dionysus) soloists. The chorus, as in a Greek tragedy, speak for the ordinary citizens dealing with these seemingly opposing forces.

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