Thursday, February 10, 2005

"in ancient time" from the celtic book of days

this is a small choir piece from david arkenstone's the celtic book of days. this sounds ridiculous but my marching band actually played selections from his CD for one our that's how i picked it up. the melody is just incredible--so soft and soothing, but very rich and dense with harmony. the sopranos begin the piece, passing off the melody to the tenors and the bases in the next phrase. there are two really neat things: the tenors and bases often hum or "ooo" to act as a pedal tone while the sopranos and altos sing the melody (it's a capella by the way); when the small ensemble takes a breath, it is incredibly dramatic--like utter silence between phrases. there is no real refrain or anything, but the first melody is heard in later parts of the piece, just slightly altered. there is a middle section that has a major feeling, but then modulates into the minor key that was heard at the beginning.

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