"A Liturgy of the Hours" is essentially a singular, personal musical impression of the liturgical hours - a period of time defined by the individual hours of prayer and worship over the course of a day. Typically, during the course of a day’s liturgy, the prayers begin at midnight, with Matins -- dawn begins with Lauds, moving through the morning and afternoon with Prime, Terce, Sext, None, and moving into the evening with Vespers and finally, Compline. Each prayer is about three hours apart from each other, and depending on which church’s tradition you follow, will have a set of readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers which are read, sung, or prayed. This sonata is loosely based on some of those readings. psalms, and prayers, with a verse or fragment of those hours listed below. The individual movements contain some shared musical material between movements, but is unlike a typical violin sonata in that the violin is not always the principal instrumentalist – indeed, most of the time, the foregrounded music is an amalgamation of both instruments. The musical language, while accessible, is contemporary to the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and takes advantage of scordatura violin writing, modes of limited transposition, and inside the piano work popularized by Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives and others. This piece is not a straight programmatical work – rather, the work reflects the impressions made upon me while working on it, and when reading/praying the liturgical hours, I made similar connections between the texts below (taken from a single day’s breviary texts) and the music as it was being written.
It is here performed by the violin-piano duo "Ascending," by whom the piece was commissioned