Elegies and affirmations: John Casken at 60

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					Elegies and affirmations: John Casken at 60
Arnold Whittall
Musical Times; Winter 2009; 150, 1909; Docstoc
pg. 
				
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posted:6/26/2010
language:English
pages:13
Description: The contrast between the strongly defined human presence in the choral work and the focus on stars and outer space in the orchestral score establishes an elemental force field within which Casken has continued to explore essential matters of identity and belief: man in nature, nature as distant from and even independent of man but not, in the end, implacably hostile or alien. Human individuals also remain capable of dreaming, of imagining forms of transcendence - of experiencing moments of vision'.7 Evidently, Casken is even more cautious than Tippett was in delineating the musical consequences of such ideas, but the validity of comparable speculations is strengthened when the visionary and the dramatic come together with new concentration and intensity in his 2008 setting of his own free adaptation of the 'classic' medieval poetic exploration of Christian violence and sorrow, The dream of the rood.
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