This Sunday, August 23 from 4 to 6 pm, join us for the second concert in The Crossing chamber choir's Seventh Annual Month of Moderns (MoM) Festival, recorded live on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill . Listen at WRTI 90.1 FM or one of our other frequencies in PA, NJ, and DE or online at WRTI.org
You'll hear a new work from Estonian composer Toivo Tulev. His libretto is an exploration of wonder, beginning with Walt Whitman’s "A child says, What is the grass?"
The Crossing reprises a chamber version of James Primosch’s sensational Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus from MoM 2014, and sing Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s raucous and fantastic Three Stages. Donald Nally conducts.
MoM II: Out of hopeful green stuff woven
Toivo Tulev: A Child Said, What Is the Grass? (world premiere)
James Primosch: Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus
Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Three Stages
Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Green
Toivo Tulev's new composition for The Crossing is a setting of this poem by Walt Whitman - it served as the centerpiece to the second MoM concert.
A Child said, What is the grass?
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?
Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.
Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.
This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.
O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.
What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.
All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
- Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)