Psalm 1

August 01, 2016 18:24

I’ve been wrestling with the challenge of writing Psalm settings which are both emotional, and which reflect the sophisticated numerical architecture the Psalms embody. Somehow I had it in my head that there would be ‘one way’ of approaching all of them.

Bach once again shows the way: in his Well Tempered Clavier he doesn’t use just one approach for the 48 preludes and fugues therein, instead the WTC is an encyclopedia of approaches. Hello, just like the Psalms themselves embody an enormous body of different numerical approaches to their architecture.

Like Prelude No. 1 (in C) in Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, my approach for Psalm 1 is also comparatively simple. And my setting is also in C, using an arpeggiated approach – in hommage to the master.