Seven of the world’s foremost choral composers have composed 15-minute musical responses to Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, a monumental sacred work of the German Baroque consisting of seven cantatas. The Crossing performs the new works alongside Buxtehude’s 1680 composition, with two leading ensembles in their respective fields of performance: Quicksilver Baroque and ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Our broadcast of Part 1 of The Crossing's Seven Responses is described here.
Join us for Part 2 on Sunday, July 24th from 4 to 6 pm—Buxtehude's Cantatas 5-7 (breast, heart, and face) and the responses of Lewis Spratlan, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Santa Ratniece. The concert was recorded live in concert on June 25, 2016 at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.
Seven Responses challenges artists and audiences alike to explore our relative distance from, or closeness to, music across centuries, cultures, and continents. Each composer was invited to collaborate with an author of their choice, or to create their own libretto— those will include the words of Icelandic poet Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, American poet Paul Kane, the words of St. Clare of Assisi, and Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen.
The project will be presented again in two concerts on the same evening, August 21st at the Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, alternating between old and new works throughout each concert.
The Crossing’s commissions have increasingly addressed issues related to the environment, to equality, and to the individual’s place in the community. Human suffering is often a theme in contemporary secular works, similar in character to sacred works of the past. Membra Jesu Nostri addresses the suffering of Christ; this will serve as a starting point for the secular cantata each composer of Seven Responses has written.
Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing, chose the composers for their diverse styles and common interest in works with political or social themes. They come from Denmark, Latvia, Germany, Iceland, and the U.S., and include two Pulitzer Prize winners.
Seven Responses, Part 2
Dietrich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV 75
V. Ad pectus (to the breast)
Response, Lewis Spratlan: Common Ground
VI. Ad cor (to the heart)
Response, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Ad cor
VII. Ad faciem (to the face)
Response, Santa Ratniece: My soul will sink in to you