Harry Partch ... IN PROGRESS...
Delusion Of The Fury (1969) is a theatrical work for chamber ensemble,
vocalists, mime, dance, lighting and staging. It has
a microtonal score based on a 43-tone scale. Its two acts are based,
on a Japanese Noh play and
on an African folk tale.
Revelation In The Courthouse Park is de facto a summation of Partch's
interests and inspirations. The "scenes" are mostly spoken only, but the
"choruses" display all his cunning hybrid genius.
Chorus One focuses on non-Western string tones, that create an eerie
sparse soundscape. There are many interlocking leitmotivs, mostly percussive
and irregular. However, Partch also manages to imbue the movement with
elements of Pacific Islands chanting, of the musichall, of
the British operetta, of Chinese opera, of marching bands, of circus music
and echoes of shamanic invocations.
Chorus Two is a mournful piece that evolves into the symphonic peak
of pathos and then decays into a funereal melody accompanied with church-like
Scene Two, whose spoken-word passages achieve the claustrophobic
power of a radio play, features a driving and howling female choir, reminiscent
of Greek tragedies.
Chorus Three is a spastic gamelan mini-concerto infiltrated by
nursery rhymes and Mediterranean folk singalongs.
The sloppy disjointed counterpoint of
Chorus Four and the orchestral pomp of
Coda are very minor and reduce the impact of the whole.
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