Listen: Archival Recordings of World Premieres

 


I Will Fear No Evil
by Paul Moravec

 


How Lovely is Your Dwelling
by Victoria Bond

 

From the archival recordings of the world premieres, performed by the combined choirs of Temple Emanu-El and Cathedral of St. John the Divine, at the November 21, 2014, Sabbath service under the direction of K. Scott Warren at Temple Emanu-El, New York. Used by permission.

Both works were subsequently performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, at the November 23, 2014, Evensong service, under the direction of Kent Tritle.

 

SDG Choral Works Create an Unprecedented Event

St. John the Divine and Temple Emanu-El
Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Temple Emanu-El

On November 21 and 23, 2014, two of New York City’s (and the world’s) most renowned houses of worship participated in a unique SDG-sponsored interfaith event. In an unprecedented collaboration, the choirs of Temple Emanu-El and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine joined forces to present the world premieres of two Soli Deo Gloria Psalms Project commissions.

 

 

 

 

I Will Fear No Evil (Psalm 23)
by Paul Moravec
For a cappella chorus
Text based on the King James Version

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place (Psalm 84)
by Victoria Bond
For chorus and organ
Translation by the composer

“A new approach to interfaith dialogue.”—ArtsBeat, The New York Times

Temple Emanu-El arch over the ark

Temple Emanu-El

The first performance took place during the Sabbath service on Friday, November 21, at Temple Emanu-El, conducted by K. Scott Warren, Senior Organist.

Dr. Johann Buis, the Chairman of SDG's Board of Directors, observed:

"Paul Moravec’s setting of Psalm 23, I Will Fear No Evil, was especially poignant because of the killing of four rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue hate crime just four days prior. The combined choirs reaffirmed life in the new songs, alongside the Kaddish, the ancient funeral prayer. At one significant point in the service, persons who had suffered the recent passing of a loved one were invited to stand. The musical collaboration further brought senior Rabbi Davidson and Dean Kowalski into a formal relationship in which commonalities were emphasized and differences treated with sensitivity."

Cathedral of St. John the Divine
 Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The second performance took place at the Evensong service on Sunday, November 23, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, conducted by Kent Tritle, Director of Cathedral Music. Dr. Buis reported:

"The four-second reverberation in this grand house of worship emphasized the critical pauses in Victoria Bond’s How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place, creating mysterious moments which pointed to God’s dwelling place beyond that sanctuary.

"The willingness for musical collaboration between a cantor and a cathedral choirmaster was a fitting metaphor for the breadth of the biblical hymnbook we call the Psalms. The largesse of creativity and worship among musicians spoke of legacy building, of modeling the relevance of new music, and securing the continuity of faith in the midst of a world that seems to marginalize both worship and music-making."

 

Victoria Bond
Victoria Bond

The new compositions by Moravec and Bond are part of Soli Deo Gloria’s Psalms Project, a collection of 15 contemporary choral works based on the biblical Book of Psalms. The project, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., has encouraged some of the Western world’s foremost composers “to create smaller musical compositions that can enrich liturgy and can also function as independent concert works, expanding the musical reach of the Psalms as a source of inspiration and strength for our time,” according to Joseph A. LoSchiavo, SDG’s President and CEO.

Victoria Bond’s compositions have been praised by The New York Times as “powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding.” She was recently honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Walter Hinrichsen Award.

Paul Moravec
Paul Moravec

Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, Paul Moravec has composed more than one hundred works. His music has been described as “tuneful, ebullient and wonderfully energetic” (San Francisco Chronicle), “riveting and fascinating” (NPR), and “assured, virtuosic” (Wall Street Journal).

Several SDG board members were in attendance, including Chairman Johann Buis, Vice-President Kaye Filkin, Chairman Emeritus Richard Gieser, and newly elected board member David Ward.

“A notable evening”—Financial Times (London)

Click to find out more about the composers and commissions involved in the Psalms Project.