If an attenuated sense of the transcendent is a prominent condition of contemporary culture, we would expect to find that this condition is addressed in the works of any modern artists who might be concerned about such a condition. The history of culture and art often exhibits a pattern in which a typical form of value blindness in a particular age becomes the impetus for the thematic focus of works that are produced in response to that blindness and that endeavor to overcome it. The intensity of such an artistic response can be expected to be all the greater in cultural regions that most intensely display the peculiar blindness of the age. Two new musical compositions that seem to mark a great culmination of the work of contemporary Russian (and Russian Orthodox) composer Sofia Gubaidulina (born in 1931) can be gratefully received in this light: her St. John Passion (2000, revised in 2006) and St. John Easter (2001, revised in 2006).1 A distinctive feature of the texts chosen by Gubaidulina for these works is the interweaving and sometimes overlapping of texts from John's Gospel and from Revelation. This selection of texts is meant to connect "the temporalearthly `horizontal'
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture – Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Published: Apr 3, 2008
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