Sir Paul McCartney has done it again! On Sept. 26, 2006, with the release of Ecce Cor Meum-latin for Behold My Heart–he has proven his eclectic musical nature once more. It’s not your typical album of pure pop genius, with soulful piano progressions and happy-go-lucky lyrics. This is a symphonic and choral piece of pure ecstasy, one that has been in-the-making for over eight years. McCartney has released works of a classical nature before, including 1991’s Liverpool Oratorio and Standing Stone in 1997.
Sultry strings and angelic voices poured from the speakers, turning my dingy dorm room into a cathedral.
The movement is broken down into four sections, entitled Spiritus, Gratia, Musica, and Ecce Cor Meum. There is also an interlude (Lament)-with the mournful singing of an oboe. It’s fantastically different – yet it still has his fingerprints all over it. Perhaps it’s an unrealized sense of self shining through.
This work came about by Anthony Smith’s (now former president of Magdalen College, in Oxford) invitation to compose a piece for the opening of a new college concert hall. McCartney was enthusiastic, to say the least.
‘I realized,’ he says, ‘that they wanted something different otherwise they wouldn’t be asking me. And I thought that’s good, it allows me some latitude, it means I don’t have to fit myself into any sort of box.’ Not that he ever has fit into any box. McCartney’s art transcends the boundaries we so often construct for artists, daring to soar beyond the realm of music and into painting, animation, and poetry.
Ecce Cor Meum is truly an emotional piece. It breathes a theme of the divine, of all that is true and beautiful in this life: Love.
McCartney takes you on a journey, through the human spirit and back again. Just close your eyes and your troubles will wither away and you’ll be hovering somewhere in the great unknown, at the mercy of such a powerful composition.
‘The idea is,’ says McCartney, ‘that what I’ll leave behind me will be music, and I may not be able to tell you everything I feel, but you’ll be able to feel it when you listen to my music. I won’t have the time or the articulation to be able to say it all, but if you enjoy composing you say it through the notes.’
McCartney speaks powerfully of love through this album; giving further that it really is all you need.