Thursday, November 20, 2014

'Shenandoah' via Ligeti?

In a comment appended to Norman Lebrecht’s post on the death of James Erb, Steven Edwards recalls a conversation he had with the University of Richmond chorusmaster about his famous “Shenandoah” arrangement (scroll down to fourth comment):

In the various conversations I had with Erb about “Shenandoah” over the years, he never disclosed that his arrangement was inspired in part by György Ligeti’s “Lux Aeterna,” the rarified, at the time avant-garde, choral work made famous by its use, as a master-of-creation motif, in the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: a Space Odyssey.”

“Shenandoah” seems to be light years (so to speak) from “Lux Aeterna;” but such leaps of musical imagination would have been entirely in character for Jim Erb.