MS page 682
This extract opens with a characteristic Sorabjian mediterranean dance with castanets, tambourines and harps. The static accompaniment in the strings (quasi strummed guitar?) building from 6-part bassi and celli adding each section until we have 17 parts and extremely high violin harmonics. Over this static accompaniment the violins start a sultry/languid tune and the wind and chorus take over. This reaches a peak (2’02”) which dissolves into quiet accapella singing and gong strokes which soon leads to another full bodied multi singing polyphonic section without the organ. During this passage a meandering quaver bass line starts (3’07”) which will dominate the next two sections. As the choir and upper strings fade away the persistent meandering quaver line emerges in the basses alone (3’48”) and then wanders it way up through the cellos, violas and 2nd violins. When it reaches the 1st violins it is then joined successively at octave intervals back down through the strings plus woodwind until we have four unison octaves which continue to descend and build into a huge polyphonic slightly disturbing Glory Glory section (5’36”). The organ re-enters, the meandering quavers continue in parallel harmony in the upper woodwind and violins, there are massive punctuating chords in the brass, the chorus sing the glory and there is a quasi-chorale like accompaniment in the lower wind and strings. What a marvellous section. The volume is pared down after a while and the chorale breaks up into more complex polyphony. Stamping percussion (7’05”) signal the climax of this section which abruptly breaks into rapid semiquavers in wind and violins with rhythmic marking of the beat in brass and percussion. The semiquavers get faster and faster building up through the whole orchestra before suddenly breaking off into….. (watch this space).
How one man could imagine all this music is unfathomable.