Philadelphia Orchestra   •   Music of the Baroque, Chicago   •   Bach Society of St. Louis   •   Victoria Symphony, Canada
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra   •   Carmel Bach Festival   •   Los Angeles Master Chorale   •   Cape Cod Symphony
Monterey Opera   •   Eaton Singers, Alberta Canada   •   Pro Coro Canada, Edmonton   •    Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Cuesta Chorale, San Juis Obispo CA   •   Huntington Choral Society, New York   •   Univ. Music Society, Ann Arbor MI

David Gordon Supertitles
elegant words for heart and mind...

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Lighting Booth

View from the lighting booth, Sunset Center, Carmel CA

My goal in creating fresh, new supertitles is to present a true sense of the words in their relationship to the the meaning of the musical works and the intentions of the composers.

Good supertitles are not literal word-for-word translations. They should warmly invite the audience to enter into the experience of listening, allowing them to quiet their minds and open their hearts, making them more susceptible to the power of the music. Nothing in the English text should jar the senses or distract the listeners from their connection to and engagement with the music.

Although I have supertitled the music of many composers, I especially enjoy creating supertitles for the music of Bach. Drawing on decades of experience as a Bach performer, lecturer, and translator, I create supertitles that are lovingly and carefully distilled to the musical, linguistic, and theological essence of the original text. Please read my mission statement here.

My supertitles are standard PowerPoint presentations, compatible with Macs or PCs. Each rental includes a clearly labeled cueing score. Here is a series of photos of supertitles in action.

Excerpt of Monterey Herald review of Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the Carmel Bach Festival.

"This performance of the great Bach masterpiece is further served by new supertitles created by David Gordon, who has spent the last 37 years performing and studying the Passion. What [conductor Bruno] Weil has achieved with the musical elements, Gordon accomplishes with the text, reducing the supertitles to their purest form in clear, elegant language.

"So often with this work, we must fight with archaic phrasing from the original German and clunky translations that distance us from the full Passion experience.

"For example, a recent recording of the Matthew Passion gives the English translation of one line as: 'Who has treated Thine eyes' light that no light else can equal, so shamefully amiss.'

"In Gordon's lucid translation this becomes,
'And those eyes ... eyes once bright beyond compare, why have they grown so dim?' "

Barbara Rose Shuler
Monterey Herald, July 20, 2007


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