Better Than It Sounds

I know nothing about contemporary classical music, so you probably shouldn’t pay too much attention to this post. I can’t help mentioning, though, a notice I received about an upcoming concert in NYC, “Freedom’s Ransom,” which seems meant in part as a tribute to religious freedom. The concert will feature a performance of “A Carnival of Miracles,” a work by composer Richard Einhorn:

The overall theme of “A Carnival of Miracles” is different kinds of freedoms: religious, scientific, artistic, cultural, sexual, and political.  Its texts are taken from numerous sources, and range from the 4th century through the 20th.  They include such unlikely sources as an ancient text from a Nag Hammadi codex; a U.S. Supreme Court decision; the Marquis de Sade; the first female U.S. Presidential Candidate Victoria Woodhull; Beethoven; Galileo; and a Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet.

Well, yes, those are rather unlikely. I looked up the text for “A Carnival of Miracles,” which you can find here. To invoke “religious freedom,” the composer has chosen a Gnostic text that reads, in part:

I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband,
and he is my son . . .

I am shame and boldness
I am shameless, I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Hear me.

Well, the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause opinions aren’t always so lucid, either.

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