R. Christopher Teichler, Composer

"The Good Samaritan" Update


It's just under 3 months away from the premier of my cantata "The Good Samaritan." Without giving too much away, I wanted to share some details of the work and how it is shaping up.

Most of the text is taken from the gospel of Luke, Chapter 10 (verses 25 - 37). Interspersed throughout this narrative, though, I have included brief passages from the Old and New Testament, as well as some outside material from sermons of Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892). My goal in structuring the libretto in this manner is to create a "musical sermon," where the other Scripture passages and the Spurgeon contributions work with the Luke text to dig deeper into the message of the parable.

Musically speaking, I have, obviously, been influenced by cantatas of the past, and the presence of recitatives, arias and choruses confirms this. While the music is primarily tonal (with a little "t," not 'Common Practice,'), there is a fair amount of dissonance, along with the presence of quartal and extended tertian harmonies. There are also places where octatonic and even dodecaphonic pitch structures can be found. All of these combined with a constant melodic clarity throughout, I could consider the piece to be "Neoclassical," which is an extremely vague term, to be sure, but that's the best I can come up with right now!

I am very excited about the upcoming premier (and also very nervous!) and have been very encouraged by the support of friends and colleagues. It is my hope that the piece helps motivate people to show more compassion and love to those around us. In this soundbyte and social media era we live in, it is very easy to dehumanize others and spew anger and even hate. I have been, unfortunately, guilty of not loving my neighbor on way too many occasions. My faith demands otherwise, and this has been the greatest motivator for me to explore this parable of Jesus at a deeper level.

Thanks for reading, and your support! Soli Deo Gloria.

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