I never knew that it was possible for a piece to have literally no melody or musical idea to grasp onto. That’s my best guess as to why Gubaidulina’s Hour of the Soul has never been recorded by any group before. I’m playing the first horn part, which is comprised of complicated counting and long notes contributing to clusters. I haven’t yet found any of the rehearsals musically rewarding, because it’s nearly impossible to make a piece like this musical when all of the parts put together only create loud, painful noise.
Each of the musicians you will see on stage has worked extremely hard to practice and prepare Hour of the Soul, but I can’t help but feel as though this piece is actually repelling our audience. All of the musicians that sit around me are very talented, but the piece doesn’t do anyone justice. Playing clusters, dissonances, and no melody really doesn’t allow us to interact with you, the audience, in an emotional and musical way like we want to!
Kara Neil, horn