An MTSU professor whose musical compositions give voice to the words of a first-century B.C. poet was the guest on a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Linton, a professor of music theory, wrote the music for “Carmina Catulli,” a CD of songs using the poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus, one of the most acclaimed poets of the ancient world. Tracks from the album are integrated into the broadcast.
Catullus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, explored the depths of human emotion, ranging from unbridled sexual passion to painful melancholy.
Jason Paul Peterson provided the piano accompaniment, and baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer sang Catullus’ words in the original Latin. MTSU recording industry professor Michael Fleming produced the CD.
“Some of the movements, which you really certainly can call ‘atonal,’ are just the way I write,” said Linton, “and some are completely tonal and lyric.
“One of the things you have to do when you put together a dramatic work like this … is you have to have a variety of long things and short things, happy things and sad things, loud, slow, fast, soft. You need that variety.”
Writing for Opera News, the publication of the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York, critic Joshua Rosenblum called Linton’s work “music of an eclectic but coherent and distinctive style, contemporary but otherworldly.”
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
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A video clip of the interview is available below.