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Letter: Strikes wrong chord

I enjoyed Joseph Marcello’s column on the upcoming performances of Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms” (The Recorder, Jan. 3), and I share his enthusiasm for the work. However, his main point — that the opening chords are major triads lacking a fifth — is simply incorrect. The chords are neither major nor lacking in anything: they are complete E Minor triads (E, G, and B). What makes them so striking is the voicing, with pitches clustered in the lower and higher registers, leaving a hollow gap in between.

While it may be a good thing, as Mr. Marcello suggests, to avoid “musical maps” while listening, such maps (or scores) are necessary when one wants to write about a work in any detail.

I do look forward to the performances.


Shelburne Falls

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