Linton: Arbores serit

Linton: Arbores serit


The motet “Arbores serit”, as many of my recent works, grew out of extended conversations and correspondences with Cody Franchetti and very much bears his stamp.  In talking about teaching, Franchetti reminded me of this passage from the first volume of Cicero’s Tusculanae Disputationes (“the Tusculan Disputations”).  Arbores serit diligens agricola, quarum aspiciet baccam ipse nunquam (The diligent gardener plants trees, not one fruit of which he will ever see).   Certainly, a better charge for a teacher, or an artist, cannot be imagined.  The work must be done, even if the reward is both unimagined and impossible.

Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion propelled me to be a composer when I heard its recording as a college freshman in Illinois (I believe I was the first person at my school to take the LP out of it case and hear it).  Later, in Connecticut, his teaching stretched my imagination and my Christmas Cantata, written much under his happy influence, was dedicated to him.  On his 80th birthday, it is a pleasure to honor the Maestro with this motet.  Penderecki loves trees and has planted and husbanded hundreds on his estate in Poland.  Penderecki’s music will endure, but like those trees which shall continue to flourish, his influence through his students and their students and theirs too, shall echo long after his own voice has been silenced.

– Michael Linton

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