This week I’ve been listening to the almost unbearably dramatic Kyrie – “Lord Have Mercy”, and my favourite bar is bar 69, in particular the first chord.
After a four-bar escalating turmoil involving all voices, the first chord of bar 69 is the peak of the disturbance…. the Altos have an E, above the Sopranos, that cuts like a shard of glass straight through the D/G harmony between the Sopranos and Tenors. There is a similar discord in bar 67, (Altos, Tenors and Basses), but at the higher pitch, the effect is intensified. In bar 70, the pitch is higher still, but there are only 2 voices here, and by this time there is a certain inevitability about the outcome, which takes some of the edge off the pain.
Perhaps it looks like this:
T-1961-44 (untitled) – Hans Hartung 1961
Although brief, it is a dark moment, and it hurts.