My Favourite Bars – Haydn #2

It’s hard to let go of a good silence…

but as we’re not singing the  choral arrangement of Cage’s 4’33”  (…yet…), there are some notes to get to know…and this week, my favourite bars are bars 1-4 of the Sanctus.


The notes in themselves aren’t anything spectacular – no creaky discords or weird suspensions – so this section is all about the dynamics.  In the space of just one bar and on one note, the choir go slowly from piano to forte and back again, with the force of some kind of lunar magnetism, pulling you towards it, and releasing you from its ethereal glow.  Then…there is a little pause for a super-intense bit of silence…  and it does it again!  (I could easily listen to these bars a few more times too)

It might look something like this:


Nocturne 1926 – Max Ernst

You are standing at the edge of the sea and small waves wash over your bare feet.  As each one recedes, from beneath you, it takes with it tiny pieces of your world, slowly pulling you deeper in.  Mesmerising.  Are you under the same spell?


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