J.S. Bach rewrites in his St Matthews Passion a choral by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612). The choral is sung several times during the passion. I heard the choral first time as a small boy in April 1976 in The Helsinki Cathedral, when we popped in with my mother during an evening walk. Mother stayed behind the inner doors, but I, a curious boy, went inside. Just then the choral started, and my body hair reacted to the music. But shortly I got an uncomfortable feeling of somebody staring at me. And yes, there was a tall, dark fellow manicly, furiosly looking down to me from two meters distance. Soon I had to escape his burning gaze. When I told my mother what had happened, some lady commented from the side: "but didn't you notice that you had your hat on?".
Where does the experience of holyness disappear from an atheist like me? I don’t think it disappears anywhere, it's just transferred from religion into everyday life - into dishwater, as my artist collegue Teemu Mäki puts it.
© Max Savikangas (2006) Instrumentation
fl, vla Category
Chamber Works Premiere
Uusinta Chamber Ensemble: Lauri Toivio, flute, Max Savikangas, viola, Helsinki, May 8, 2006. PDF for promotional use
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