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If Czech composer PETR EBEN (1929-2007) had not been imprisoned at Buchenwald during World War II, because his father was Jewish, his music might not so starkly represent the forces of good and evil as they do here. His “Moto Ostinato” from Musica dominicalis or “Sunday Music” from 1958 represents the third movement of the four-part work, consisting also of two Fantasias and a Finale.
With repeated rhythmic motion representing a battleground between good and evil, the first six-bar “Evil” theme appears in triple meter built upon minor thirds – mostly ascending as if coming from below. Later, the second, “Good” theme descends as if coming from above in a quicker more lively gesture.
As the piece develops, Evil is depicted in many forms and keys, overwhelming the simpler Good. Evil’s improvisatory style is said to derive from a New Testament story in both Mark and Luke about a possessed man who called himself “Legion, because we are many.”