April 29, 2020 - 5:07 PM

Music From Home: Peter Stewart

"The Stammerer" by Karl Kramer, featuring Peter Stewart and SONYC (String Orchestra of NYC).


The piece is about Notker of Gallen, who was important to the development of western musical notation. He wrote much profound spiritual poetry, which he set to chants, believing that he could remember the tunes better if he set words to them. He also wrote the first biography of Charlemagne. He also had a debilitating stutter.

In this piece, he sings of his devotion and the meaning of the contemplative life. Then, he tries to engage with the secular world, and is completely undone by a crippling (and virtuosic) stutter. The text for the stutter is simply the title of his biography of Charlemagne. After two heroic attempts, he sits back down and returns to his life of contemplation.

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