One of the most amazing things I have found out recently is that on the Albert Memorial in London, in front of the Royal Albert Hall, there is a stone gallery of famous creators, which a committee of English gentlemen thought worth remembering in 1863 Was. There are about 20 of them, and next to Rossin is Joskin. Schubert is not.
MUHLY What does it mean if a composer, like Joskin, sets the same text 30 times and again accurately? Because I write a lot of choral music, I’ve done about a dozen settings, magnified, but in more traditional parts of contemporary music, you’re in a position to be constantly encouraged, if not hopeful. .
Phillips Well, this is a very romantic, 19th century approach. We have to go back to the 15th century as it was. The words of the mass were very well known and Joskin set them 18 times; You cannot expect anyone to make every single word, every time, very often. And he did not; He understood the words well.
Modern artists find it very difficult to accept. They feel that they are missing an absolutely important thing they need to focus on – the word – when what they really want to focus on is making a good one. Sound, Therefore music can be as vibrant as music. They should not spend hours discussing the meaning of “Kyrie Ellison”. In the 15th century, everyone knew what it meant.
MUHLY Something that I find extremely exciting about Joskin is that he is obsessively repetitive. Compared to the music of the time and later centuries, he does not take a bit of music and then transforms it into this big thing that becomes more and more ornate. It really turns itself around, exactly the same things are happening.
Phillips There are many routes where he keeps going back to the same note. And as you say, the music does not seem to advance; It just goes around. And it is like an attractive circle. He keeps hitting that note. The Amen of the cult of “Miss Festant Regret” is where he goes, so consistently, he goes back to a D, leaving him completely spellbound. I mean, you go crazy.