Responsio – Peter-Anthony Togni

Winner of the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award

Creator: Peter-Anthony Togni

Nominator: Jeff Joudrey

Responsio, a fifty-minute musical work scored for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet builds upon a pre-existing composition, Guillaume de Machaut’s 1365 Mass the Messe de Nostre Dame. The composer juxtaposes bursts of bass clarinet improvisation against through-composed vocal material, forming a continuous commentary on the relationship of the individual to the collective. This contemporary recomposition of a work of sacred music serves to contrast modern expressions of free will with the certainty and limitations of the feudal order. Fittingly, the work was performed in St. Bernard Church on the French Shore.

Jury Comments: The jury commented that the combination of new and ancient musics integrates classical ensemble singing into a new context.  Reilly is a masterful clarinettist and improviser. Artistically mature and highly original as a composition, Responsio’s impact will spread internationally, independently of its performance in Nova Scotia. The artist’s work Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae was a 2010 Masterworks Finalist.