Catullus VIII, Cantata for Male Voices & Piano
In this ground-breaking new cantata, the bitter text of Catullus VIII is set for three male voices and piano by Leon Gray; breathing life into a classic Latin text by one of Ancient Rome’s favourite poets.
Utilising a unique harmonic language that fuses contemporary classical with elements of traditional classical, musical theatre and jazz harmony, the work intends to demonstrate the sadness associated with thoughts of an unfaithful love, in combination with the inflamed rage and despising of the same. The journey of Catullus in the poetry is mirrored in the music, moving from sad, self-loathing stillness and yearning, through to impassioned hatred, mocking and cursing.
This 30-minute work is perfect for performers wishing to present a complex and emotional portrayal of one man, but as a team exploring the joy of singing in rich and unique harmony with others.
“We may live in an age of contemporary composition where potentially ‘anything goes.’ This can be empowering for musicians, but it can also lead to an anarchic state where definitions of ‘noise’ and ‘music’ become blurred. The tonal landscape may have changed since 1900, but I believe that there is still enormous freedom to be original and exciting within the limits and traditions that guided earlier composers – it’s about reconceiving these limits rather than abandoning them altogether.” (Leon Gray, 2016)