Godár: Mater

WORKS: Mater
PERFORMER: Iva Bittová (voice), Milo? Valent, (violin, viola); Bratislav Conservatory Choir/Dusan Bill; Solamente Naturali/Marek tryncl


Godár, like Arvo Pärt, employed serial techniques until he began to

explore early music and, also like

Pärt, has evolved a sound world

which, though thoroughly pervaded

with echoes of medieval and

Renaissance music, speaks directly

to contemporary sensibilities.

This cantata, a meditation on the

archetypes of Woman and Mother,

originated as six independent pieces

composed between 1997 and 2005.

Sometimes that shows. ‘Luspavanky’

(2001-03) fits least easily: the

opening section most obviously

acknowledges a debt to Pärt’s

example when tart upper strings

cut across the stately chant, and the

final part includes turns of phrase

and harmonies that might have been

penned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber.


In the context they stick out like the

proverbial. So does the Tudor dance

music of ‘Regina Coeli’ but it’s so

charming that you don’t mind.

Mostly Mater convinces as a

coherent whole.
The atmosphere

of timeless, serenely enraptured

mysticism is maintained beautifully,

particularly in the ‘Magnificat’

(2003) with its gorgeous vocal line

over ghostly tolling and string drone.

Being on ECM, the sound is

predictably impeccable, doing full

justice to Godár’s ravishing scoring

and the superb performances: Bittova

will break your heart in the ‘Stabat

Mater’ (2001).