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.
Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Music, and University Professor at Adelphi University, is the composer of numerous orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic and lyric pieces. His music has earned many distinctions, including the Rome Prize Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. Frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, his works include multiple albums of orchestral and chamber music. His music has been described as “tuneful, ebullient and wonderfully energetic” (San Francisco Chronicle), “riveting and fascinating” (NPR), and “assured, virtuosic” (Wall Street Journal). Moravec's works are published by Subito Music.
I Will Fear No Evil
Mixed chorus (SATB), a cappella
DURATION: 2.5 minutes
TEXT: Psalm 23 (King James Version)
A poignant, powerful choral setting of one of most beloved Psalms, emphasizing its spirit of courage. 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 Paul Moravec’s setting of Psalm 23, I Will Fear No Evil. 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. The timing was especially significant, as noted by SDG Board Chairman, Johann Buis:
"Four days before, four rabbis had been killed in a Jerusalem synagogue hate crime. Paul Moravec’s setting of Psalm 23, I Will Fear No Evil, took on profound poignancy during that Sabbath service, reaffirming life in the new songs being premiered alongside the Kaddish, the ancient funeral prayer.”—Johann S. Buis
A notable evening”—Financial Times (London)
Both performances of Moravec’s Psalm composition were paired with another SDG Psalms Project commission, Victoria Bond’s How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place (Psalm 84) 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 this Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was asked about his choice of Psalm 23 for the commission, he wrote:
“Psalm 23 has always been a personal favorite and has special resonance for me and my family in connection with my father's death in 1989. Gradually dying from a complicated heart-related illness, in his final weeks he and my mother would pray, together reciting Psalm 23 in particular. It was in the middle of reciting this psalm one evening that my father left us. This composition is dedicated to his memory.”—Paul Moravec
I Will Fear No Evil 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 SDG Music Foundation.