Monday Music: Kyrie Cunctipotens Genitor

[Monday Music is a new feature: a more-or-less random song/piece of music with a terribly insufficient description of the music and what impression it gives me.]

I found this piece of medieval music via tumblr today and gave it a try because I’ve had some good experiences with medieval music in the past. It’s a monks’ chant, male voices only without instruments to accompany them, echoing just as you’d expect in a church.

It’s a piece of music that is slow and heavy, solemn and mournful, notes shivering in the dark air, dust dancing in the few rays of light piercing it. It’s a tone held inhumanly long beneath the leading voice rising lonely and serious above it. It’s vowel after vowel, and then curls of consonants at the end like an afterthought, other voices joining the leading one just then as if they had just woken up. It’s voices rising together, climbing higher and louder than before, fervent, before sinking again.

It’s a single moment of silence, all the voices gone quiet, before some of them take up the next word a fraction of a second before the bass line starts again. It’s the leading voice tearing away from the others, higher, bordering on the edge of desperation, reining itself in a little just to break away again and stay above the others for a short time before falling back for good, sinking into the others like mud, quieted.

It’s a single voice taking up the tune above the bass cry, only later joined by a few others, and then suddenly by the whole choir, going higher and faster together, splitting and joining back together repeatedly on single notes, and then ending together too sudden, leaving me waiting for the next note for a long moment.

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