Gregory Rose: Danse Macabre

Gregory Rose: Danse Macabre

The Danse macabre – the idea that Death comes for everyone regardless of status or importance – has fascinated musicians for centuries. In 2011, inspired by a vast sixteenth-century painting by Bernd Notke in the Niguliste, St Michael’s Church in Tallinn, the English composer Gregory Rose (b. 1948) set the mediaeval German texts which sit below each panel, turning Notke’s terrifying vision into a bleak but grimly humorous ritual.

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Chamber Ensemble; Gregory Rose

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Catalogue No: TOCC0284
EAN/UPC: 5060113442840
Release Date: 04.09.2015
Composer: Gregory Rose
Artists: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Chamber Ensemble, Gregory Rose

Listen To This Recording:

  1. I Dance 1: Processional
  2. II Chorus 1: Requiem aeternam
  3. III Song 1 (The Preacher from the Pulpit)
  4. IV Death Song 1 (‘Death to All’) and Chorus 2: Kyrie eleison
  5. V Dance 2
  6. VI Death Song 2 (‘Death to the Pope’)
  7. VII Song 2 (The Pope)
  8. VIII Chorus 3 (Tract): Absolve Domine
  9. IX Death Song 3 (Death answers the Pope)
  10. X Dance 3
  11. XI Chorus 4 (Sequence): Dies irae
  12. XII Song 3 (The Emperor)
  13. XIII Chorus 5 (Offertory): Domine, Jesu Christe
  14. XIV Death Song 4 (‘Death to the Emperor’)
  15. XV Dance 4
  16. XVI Song 4 (The Empress)
  17. XVII Chorus 6: Sanctus
  18. XVIII Death Song 5 (‘Death to the Empress’)
  19. XIX Dance 5
  20. XX Song 5 (The Cardinal)
  21. XXI Death Song 6 (‘Death to the Cardinal’)
  22. XXII Song 6 (The King)
  23. XXIII Chorus 7 (Communion): Lux aeterna
  24. XXIV Death Song 7 (‘Death to the King and All’)
  25. XXV Dance 6
  26. XXVI Chorus 8: In Paradisum
  27. XXVII Dance 7 (Recessional)
  28. XXVIII Chorus 9: Pie Jesu

2 reviews for Gregory Rose: Danse Macabre

  1. :

    “Rose is well known as a conductor, of choirs in particular: he founded Singcircle, famous for its performances of Stockhausen’s Stimmung. He’s a prolific composer, too, and this 28-part essay, sharing its title and even some of its imagery with Saint-Saëns, is a remarkable experiment in music theatre. Inspired by a 16th-century painting series in a Tallinn church, Rose sets a medley of Latin and medieval German texts, interleaving choral and solo movements and instrumental dances in a startling tapestry of sound. Stravinsky and Britten may be reference points, but distant: the inventiveness is his own.” —The Sunday Times, September 2015

  2. :

    “Gregory Rose’s compelling meditation on the eternal truth that we will all one day join the danse macabre is inspired by a series of medieval paintings that hang in St Nicholas’s church in Tallinn, so it’s natural that he should record his piece in the beautiful acoustic of that very building. Bernt Notke’s pictures show the skeletal figure of death inviting a pope, emperor, empress, cardinal and king to dance with him. Rose gives all these characters – soloists drawn from the extravagantly talented Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – lithe and generous lines to sing, accompanied by some truly original combinations of instruments. He has the impressive knack of melding a 15th-century text to music informed by Henze, Ligeti and Cage, yet with a fresher, more accessible edge. It’s ripe to be staged – and danced, of course.” —The Observer, 15 November 2015

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