This work was created as a suggestion of the director of the Gerund choir La Cantoria, Josep Maria Grosset, to then include it in what would be his first and only CD called "from 11th to 21st".
This mysterious name of the CD was put to make understand that this music album used music from XI to XXI century. The CD is divided into medieval music, Renaissance music and contemporary music. Sharing the recording with renowned composers and distant in time such as Cristobal de Morales and Rautavaara.
I had previously worked with the choir because they were the ones who were recording the vocal part (solo and choral) of my ballet Water Nymphs. Unfortunately, La Cantoria, like many other excellent musical groups of our country has disappeared as a group, but I still have much contact with part of its singers and with their director.
The title of the work in Latin, which is also the only text I use in the work: "Ut quid, domine, recessisti longe?" means "Why, lord, are you so far away?", and is part of the Psalm 9,22 that used the compositor Krysztof Penderecki in his Passion according to Saint Lucas and which I knew.
As the Cantoria was a coral expert in the techniques of medieval songs, I wanted to make a play with several peculiarities of ancient music: the first is to use plain chant, which means singing without vibrating voice, according to the experts as was used previously, even in many European folk is still used, such as the famous Bulgarian Voices. The second was to use melismes (extended vowels with long counterpoints). I use the third special feature at the end of the work: vocal pedals. The fourth was to create the work entirely in one of the medieval modus, in this case it was our C Major, without using any alteration, neither flats nor sharps. I have used this restraint several times in my work, like in the Noncromatic prelude for flute and harp. An attempt to prove myself the expressive and communicative possibilities of pure tone, without chromatisms, a so common trend in the second half of the XXth century. The fifth feature is that the work has not subdivisions of the beat. And last to not use musical instruments, a capella choir.
And with all these ingredients is this song of supplication born.
Ut quid, domine, recessisti longe?
Ut quid, domine, recessisti longe? (Why, lord, are you so far away?)
Work included in the show Paco Viciana Collage (2004)
Ut quid, domine, recessisti longe? (4'57):
- Coral: La Cantoria
- Direction: Josep Maria Grosset