Extra Eclectic

A posthumous masterpiece from Johann Johannsson

Three years before his sudden death at age 48 in 2015, Jóhann Jóhannsson finished 'Drone Mass,' a kind of electroacoustic cantata for string quartet, voices and electronics which may be his finest work.Provided

A posthumous masterpiece from Johann Johannsson


April 20, 2022

Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson felt a strong affinity for the idea of the "drone," a musical concept that he said he saw as "a fundamental vibration that anchors music and gives you a foundation." He returned to the idea again and again in his works, but perhaps nowhere as explicitly as in a piece that's just received a new posthumous premiere recording, Drone Mass. Steve Seel features a selection from the piece this week, in a program that focuses on themes of the natural world in honor of Earth Day.