The theme for winter 2014 was Music of Mid-Winter, which was brought to life with three works. The program featured a Cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, a song cycle by the American composer, Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943), and a commissioned piece by Brooklyn composer, Lainie Fefferman (b. 1982). These three pieces presented the winter theme from a variety of perspectives.The first half featured a cantata, Sie warden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), which was composed in 1724. Bach’s skillful use of counterpoint expresses the essence of the high Baroque period. The familiar harmonic language of this Baroque masterpiece served as a launching pad for the more contemporary works that followed.
The cantata was followed by newly commissioned work, And how was your day today?, by Brooklyn’s own Lainie Fefferman. Grace & Spiritus has been committed to commissioning new works each season, and Ms. Fefferman's unique and challenging piece seeks to reproduce the emotional arc of a typical work day over the span of twelve short movements.
The concert concluded with a performance of a song cycle, Mid-Winter Songs, by the American composer, Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943). Lauridsen has emerged as one of the leading choral composers of our time. Mid-Winter Songs, a choral cycle set to poems by Robert Graves, is rich in classical allusion, and takes winter (or, in two cases, imply winter – winter about to come, winter just gone) as their setting. Lauridsen’s rich and accessible harmonic language brings these dramatic texts to life in imaginative ways.