About this work:
Ignoto Numine, whose title means "Unknown Spirit," refers to certain aspects of traditional sonata and concerto forms only to annihilate them. Organized as a bipartite structure which features harmonic and thematic transformation that hark back to sonata form, as well as virtuosic cadenzas associated with concerto form, Ignoto Numine violates these forms timbrally and structurally. The pianist uses timpani mallets and snare sticks on the piano strings and the violinist and cellist both have timbral effects that transcend traditional techniques. The use of special timbral techniques helped shape the extreme range of tones of voice, ranging from the tender quality of the secondary thematic region to the fiercely wild cadenzas and ending. Ignoto Niumine was commissioned by the Monticello Trio, who also recorded it on CRI.
Fanfare said" "Judith Shatin is Professor of Music at the University of Virginia. Her quarter-hour, single-movement work explores 'the mystery of musical ideas' by creating its own gloss on typically classical devices: a theme is clearly announced; development begins immediately, quickly fragmenting and transmuting it beyond recognition. At times the three instruments sound together as one organ-like mass; elsewhere they play as a trio and have solos. The direction is from simplicity to complexity, clarity to mysticism . Tension builds to a final coda where instruments can no longer contain it, and the players are forced to join in vocally. This is another intriguing piece, in another very personal idiom."
The San Francisco Chronicle offered "The other recent piece here is 'Ignoto Numine,' a fine 15-minute work by the intriguing Judith Shatin. The profusion of musical ideas is both engaging and splendidly controlled; and it gets a committed reading."
Year composed: 1986
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Piano Trio
Instrumentation: 1 Piano, 1 Violin, 1 Cello
Instrumentation notes: In addition to playing their instruments,using a variety of extended techniques, the players are called upon to scream along with them at the end of the piece. The piece plays with and then explodes traditional notions of form.