One-composer records have somehow slipped out of fashion, but the chance to delve more deeply into the psyche of a single composer is a special indulgence for both performer and listener. Luke Altmann's music first graced our music stands in 2007, when we performed the slow and achingly beautiful ‘Prelude to New York’ at Manchester Lane in Melbourne. The piece’s honest conviction, simplicity and deep expression stayed with us.
The slightly oxymoronic title of our album references the literary paradox of the wise or holy fool who, contrary to outward appearances speaks a profound truth.
The Sunne Rising is a wordless setting of John Donne’s metaphorical and sensual poem of the same name. High and Sovereign Lady! hails Dulcinea del Toboso, the fictional object of Don Quixote’s considerable passions and a symbol of ridiculous devotion to admirable ideals. Continuing the Quixotic theme, Holy Fools reflects on the pursuits of those outsiders whose convictions may be at odds with most, but whose disarming persistence and naivety triumph. An even more personal utterance is Prelude to New York, inspired by a close friend of great conviction departing on an idealistic quest.
Whilst a publicist might label this album ‘chamber chill’ that would be short changing the emotional content of the music. A better description for the curious might be the spacious calm of Arvo Pärt touching the melodic wandering and resignation of Schubert.
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