Monday, February 13, 2012

The best composer you've never heard of


That's what the Wall Street Journal said of Morten Lauridsen.

Dana Gioia (past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts) describes him as "one of the few living composers whom I would call great."
What does Mr Lauridsen say? 

"There are too many things out there that are away from goodness. We need to focus on those things that ennoble us, that enrich us."

And of his "Lux Aeterna": 

"I didn't want to write an elitist piece that only the very best choirs in the world could perform--I wanted to write a piece that could be within the reach of many people, many performers. It's a piece with a message, and I didn't want to complicate that message with complicated musical language."

Reminds me of what another composer said: "Use ordinary words and say extraordinary things." Arthur Schopenhauer

Beautiful, direct, true, from the heart. Too many things away from goodness. I'm so glad Morten Lauridsen isn't.

(The award winning new documentary about him, "Shining Night" isn't yet scheduled to be broadcast anywhere in the US. The Wall Street Journal: "All he does is compose radiantly beautiful music and lead what appears to be a wholly satisfying life, and these days that's not quite enough to make you a household name. Time was when PBS would have snapped it up. Why not now?")


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