Album: Richard Blackford, Not In Our Time (Nimbus Alliance)

 

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The Independent Culture

Commissioned and performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Not in our Time is a provocative, ambitious work whose libretto draws on diverse historical sources – presidential speeches, poems, religious proclamations – to sketch the course of conflict between Christianity and Islam, respectively represented by tenor and baritone voices.

The opening "Prelude", rising from lone cello to orchestral cacophony, is suitably Messiaen-ic, while elsewhere the choral textures have a vibrancy and dark energy reminiscent of Carmina Burana. A partial resolution of sorts is symbolised by Obama's inspirational peacemaker speecha, contrasting with Bush's opening bluster.

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