Tuesday 24 February 2015

Liszt's Via Crucis


On Wednesday 4th March at 8pm there will be a performance of Franz Liszt's Via Crucis together with Newman's meditations on the Stations of the Cross, as a way of following on the way to Calvary during Lent.

Via Crucis is perhaps the closest Liszt came to creating a new kind of church music through combining a new harmonic language with traditional liturgy. While the overall atmosphere is restrained and devout in feeling, the harmony underpinning the music is experimental, including an extensive use of the whole-tone scale. While the composer uses familiar chorale and hymn tunes, the overall impression aurally is of an unsettled tonal language. Three of the 15 numbers (an introduction along with depictions of the 14 Stations of the Cross) employ sliding chromatic lines and harmonies; and when those harmonies do come to rest, they are often diminished or unique. Other Stations use successive chromatic chords and may abruptly end on a single tone.