|Psallite cover image from the Magnificat window at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, created by Hildreth Meière (1892-1961). Photo © by Hildreth Meière Dunn.|
SDG's new Psallite CD includes five Psalms Project commissions, recorded by Cor Cantiamo, the chamber choir in residence at Northern Illinois University, under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Eric A. Johnson.
Psalm 96, Peter Bannister
Psalm 141, Gavin Bryars
Psalm 67, Eriks Ešenvalds
Bless the Lord, o my soul, Galina Grigorjeva
Preserve Me, O God, Daniel Kellogg
To hear excerpts and learn more, visit the SDG Shop.
The Soli Deo Gloria Psalms Project is a collection of 15 contemporary choral works by the world’s foremost composers, expressing the text of the Hebrew Psalter in the Western Art music tradition for a 21st-century audience.
Few bodies of literature can equal the 150 Psalms in their capacity to articulate the profundity of human spiritual experience. The poetry of the Psalms transcends the barriers of culture and geography, and each succeeding generation has found its concerns mirrored in and interpreted by these texts on a deep level. The Psalms Project has invited some of today’s leading composers to allow their imaginations to be fired by the Psalms’ symbolism and depth, to expand the musical reach of the Psalms as a source of inspiration and strength for our time.
The Psalms Project is made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God." Psalm 41:1 (ESV)
Kernis, Aaron Jay
Lee III, James
In their capacity to articulate the profundity of human spiritual experience, surely few bodies of texts in world literature can equal the Hebrew Psalter. Here we have a distillation of humanity’s dealings with the divine which has never ceased to inspire believers across the centuries. Indeed, it might be said that the Psalms constitute a Biblical template for sung and spoken prayer, both individual and communal, which has shaped the entire Judeo-Christian tradition and had an incalculable impact on Western culture and beyond.
The poetry of the Psalms clearly transcends barriers of time and space, inspiring the greatest variety of music from the visceral intensity of Jewish cantillation to the imposingly rugged metrical settings of 16th century Geneva, from Allegri to Bernstein, Gregorian chant to Steve Reich, Bach or Schubert to Stravinsky, Schnittke or Mahalia Jackson.
So, given the quantity and quality of this musical corpus of psalmody, why solicit a new collection of settings?