Bhakti

(1982)

by Jonathan Harvey

Description
chamber ensemble of 15 players and quadraphonic tape (or CD-ROM)
Duration
50
Genres
Electronics with Live Performers, Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentation
fl(=picc).ob(=ca).cl(=Ebcl).bcl - hn.tpt(=ptpt).trbn -perc(1/2): tam-t/vib/2 wdbl/3 tom-t/2 susp.cym/crot/mar/gong/2 tpl.bl/t.bells/tgl - pno(=glsp) - harp - strings (3 vln.vla.vlc)
Commission

Commissioned by IRCAM

First Performance
3.12.82, IRCAM, Paris: Ensemble InterContemporain/Denis Cohen
Availability

Score 0-571-51029-9 on sale, score and parts for hire.  A link to the electronic resources necessary for public performance will be supplied by the hire library upon request (hire@fabermusic.com). ERRATA LIST required for published FS

Programme Notes
Bhakti was written in 1982, to a commission from IRCAM, Paris. It is in twelve short movements totalling about fifty minutes. There are thirty-six subsections, each one defined by a certain number of instruments playing a certain pitch cell. As there are only twelve types of subsection, each one occurs (with variation) three times, thus making for repetitions over the course of the work. The musical syntax is symmetrical around a central axis. The ear is unconsciously attracted to hear the harmony not as dissonant over a fundamental bass but as floating free from bass functions and yet rigorously controlled. The tape is composed largely of sounds drawn from the instrumental ensemble transformed and mixed by computer. It has many functions: of dialogue, transformation, memory, anticipation, ‘simultaneous translation’ and of reaching beyond the instrumental scale to a more universal dimension. A quotation from the Rig Veda is appended at the end of each movement. These Sanskrit hymns were written some four thousand years ago. They are keys to a transcendent consciousness. Jonathan Harvey

Licensing Information

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'Bhakti' reviews

'With its quicksilver modulations seamlessly integrating taped sounds with acoustic instruments, it stands as one of Harvey’s finest achievements' Read more

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