The Beauty of Old and New
Smile for a Saturday
We try to mix it up with our Smile for a Saturday feature, bringing to your attention a diverse set of artistic voices. Some of what we share may be familiar to you, and some may open the door to new experiences. Our goal is to celebrate how the realm of human expression is best seen as a web of interconnectivity rather than silos of exclusion. We speak to each other, across our cultural divides and between the ages.
Today, we are highlighting a piece of music that demonstrations how the inspirations of the past can find new resonance and urgency in the context of the present. The music is a haunting rendition of an old Vivaldi composition “Cum Dederit” from Psalm 127.
This version is musically a mixture of old and new, a single electrical guitar (played by Marnix Dorrestein) accompanies a magical soprano voice (Nora Fischer). These Dutch musicians infuse a modern sensibility to a centuries-old masterpiece. As you listen to it, what century does it sound like it’s from? One wonders what Vivaldi himself would have thought of the arrangement. (It is part of an album HUSH, where Fisher and Dorrestein collaborate on several modern takes on classic pieces.)
We thought that in times of conflict, when we see deep echoes of troubling history and worry about the future, we could find in this song a counterweight to our anxieties. The past and the future can also be viewed as a shared dialogue around the beauty of the human spirit.