An archival recording of the world premiere, performed by the combined choirs of Temple Emanu-El and Cathedral of St. John Divine, at the November 21, 2014, Sabbath service under the direction of K. Scott Warren at Temple Emanu-El, New York. Used by permission.
The work was 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.
For information on performing this work or obtaining a perusal score, please contact SDG.
Victoria Bond leads a dual career as composer and conductor. Her compositions have been praised by The New York Times as "powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding," and her conducting has been called “impassioned” by the Wall Street Journal . She has been commissioned by The American Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Houston and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, Cleveland and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras, Women’s Philharmonic, Young Peoples’ Chorus, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is the recipient of the Victor Herbert Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Walter Hinrichsen Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize, and is founder and artistic director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival.
How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place
Mixed chorus (SATB) and organ
DURATION: 6 minutes
TEXT: Psalm 84 (translation by the composer)
A choral hymn of praise, extolling the beauty of God’s presence within the living earth. Psalms Project commission.
November 21-23, 2014
Combined choirs of Temple Emanu-El and Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Friday service: Temple Emanu-El, K. Scott Warren, conductor
Sunday service: Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Kent Tritle, conductor
New York, New York
In an unprecedented interfaith event in New York City, conceived and sponsored by Soli Deo Gloria, the choirs of two of New York City’s most renowned houses of worship, Temple Emanu-El and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, joined forces to present the world premiere of Victoria Bonds’s setting of Psalm 84, How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place.The first of two performances took place during the Friday Sabbath service at Temple Emanu-El, conducted by K. Scott Warren, on November 21, 2014.
"A notable evening”—Financial Times (London)
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. The acoustics of the Cathedral were especially conducive to the expressive nature of this piece, as noted by SDG Board Chairman, Johann Buis:
"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."—Johann S. Buis
Both performances of Bond’s Psalm composition were paired with another SDG Psalms Project commission, Paul Moravec's I Will Fear No Evil (Psalm 23) at each service. This first-ever collaboration between the iconic Reform Jewish and Episcopal houses of worship created what The New York Times called “a new approach to interfaith dialogue” (ArtsBeat, The New York Times)
"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."—Johann S. Buis
When Ms. Bond was asked about her choice of Psalm 84 for this commission, she wrote:
“I fell in love with this Psalm from having sung it in the chorus of the Brahms Requiem when I was a vocal student at the University of Southern California. Charles C. Hirt was the conductor, and rehearsing and performing the work was memorable. Since that time I have conducted the Brahms Requiem several times, and this setting of this Psalm inspired me to want to create my own musical interpretation. It expresses the profound appreciation I feel for the natural world and the exaltation that sweeps over me during walks when I contemplate the beauty of our planet.”
How Lovely Is Your Dewlling is 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, president of Soli Deo Gloria, Inc.