James Kallenbach’s 2017 work Antigone: The Writings of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement is a sort of cantata for female voices and cello quartet on the theme of what we must/can do when the diktats of authority clash with what we know to be undeniably just. The piece lasts just over half an hour and intersperses the words of Sophocles’ Antigone with those of Sophie Scholl. It’s tremendously effective and moving. The texts fit seamlessly and the soundscape of female voices (the Lorelei Ensemble collectively and singing various solo parts) and four cellos seems really apt as well as being rather beautiful in a meditative sort of way. Beth Willer conducts
The recording was made on the Mechanic’s Hall at Worcester MA and it’s exemplary I listened on 44.1kHz/16bit WAV files but the actual release (due June 17th on the New Focus Recordings label) will probably offer a choice of physical CD, lossless FLAC or Apple Lossless. There’s lots of good material in the booklet along with full texts but it’s all in English (bar three lines in Latin) and perfectly comprehensible without.
The questions raised in this piece were relevant 2500 years ago when Sophocles tackled them and were no less relevant when Sophie Scholl and her friends went to their deaths in 1943. It seems to me that in this new dark age they are as relevant as ever.