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RIchard Friedman

About that quote: "I don’t think that anyone should conduct or sing a sacred piece of music unless they thoroughly understand the meaning and symbolism of every phrase." I would agree, but only if the composer has an equal understanding. Sometimes I'm not convinced. Eg. Webern's settings. I think the text was just a convenience.

Soli Deo Gloria

I think I understand what is meant by the statement, "I don’t think that anyone should conduct or sing a sacred piece of music unless they thoroughly understand the meaning and symbolism of every phrase." I agree with the statement to the extent that it is attempting to say that the most convincing performances of sacred music are those that stem from an informed, thorough understanding of the interplay between the music and the text. And I would go a step further and add that the most moving performances often come when the performer(s) are further aided by an emotional and even spiritual resonance with the text. But, of course, I would not say that one should be otherwise considered unqualified to conduct or sing the piece.

Great blog, by the way.

Chandler Branch, Exe. Dir.
Soli Deo Gloria

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