Susana Cordón / The Brodsky Quartet

Jorge Grundman: A Mortuis Resurgere

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Jorge Grundman, a professor of engineering in Madrid, has a background in both classical and rock music and has stated a desire to build bridges between the classical and popular spheres. The present work, however, displays few connections to popular music beyond its broadly tonal orientation. It has a purely classical model: Haydn's string quartet version of The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, a work that, as Grundman points out, has Spanish roots. Grundman's work has added text from the gospel of St. John (which was also done during Haydn's lifetime), sung by a soprano, and it is something like a sequel to the Haydn work, beginning after Christ's crucifixion and subsequent earthquake and ending jubilantly with the resurrection of Christ and the canonical Credo and Hosanna. The effect is unusual, and Grundman deserves credit for avoiding the prevalent models of conservative religious music. The string quartet parts are slow in tempo and draw on the general mood and texture of Haydn's piece without partaking of the classical forms that give them direction. The soprano part, mostly in slower note values, is incantatory and almost minimalist. The Latin text is broken up with vocalises, which do little to disturb an extremely homogeneous texture. The work can't be described as minimalist, either, though; it is direct in its emotional appeal, and even for nonbelievers it will have little of religious kitsch about it. It moves slowly, but it moves toward an affirmative utterance at the end. It may create the feeling that the ideas here could be developed more fully, but they are indeed original.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
A Mortuis Resurgere
1 5:27
2 4:14
3 3:53
4 4:44
5 2:31
6 3:10
7 4:44
8 4:12
9 5:27
10 4:24
11 4:57
12 6:17
blue highlight denotes track pick