Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

Leaving off the cynicism, let me offer some music for a Monday of Holy Week, this live performance of Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.

The composer speaks on his style:

The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises — and everything that is unimportant falls away. Tintinnabulation is like this. Here I am alone with silence. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me.

What a marvelous metaphor for the spiritual life. How do we aspire to encounter this perfect unity? Perhaps when the unimportant falls away, and we are alone with God. And if we are able to let go of the complexity of life in the everyday world–if we are able–comfort awaits. One note. One beat. Is it enough?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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