Join us this Sunday, July 10th from 4 to 6 pm to hear The Crossing recorded live in concert on June 24, 2016 at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. Philadelphia’s professional choir dedicated to new music, The Crossing presents its most ambitious project ever with Seven Responses.
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.
Seven Responses will challenge artists and audiences alike to explore our relative distance from, or closeness to, music across centuries, cultures, and continents.
The project, originally presented in June over two evenings, will be presented again in two concerts on the same evening in August in NYC, alternating between old and new works throughout each concert.
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 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 One
Dietrich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV 75
I. Ad pedes (to the feet)
Response - David T. Little: dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet
II. Ad genua (to the knees)
Response - Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Ad Genua/To the knees
III. Ad manus (to the hands)
Response - Caroline Shaw: To the Hands
IV. Ad latus (to the sides)
Response - Hans Thomalla: I come near you