Moravec: Psalms for the 21st Century

 

“The poetry of The Psalms clearly transcends barriers of time and space….”Moravec Psalm 23 Soli Deo G logo edit

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Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY; photo: Helena Kubicka de Bragança; courtesy: www.stjohndivine.org

And so, the international foundation Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) explains the inspiration behind its “Psalms Project,” which is sponsoring the November 2014 world premiere performances of Paul Moravec’s new choral work I Will Fear No Evil. Commissioned by SDG, I Will Fear No Evil is scored for a cappella mixed chorus and features a text-setting of Psalm 23 from the King James Version. Moravec’s work is part of SDG’s ongoing commissioning project to create a collection of 15 contemporary choral works expressing the text of the Hebrew Psalter in the Western Art music tradition for a 21st-century audience.

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Temple Emanu_EL, New York, NY; courtesy: http://www.emanuelnyc.org/

I Will Fear No Evil premieres in New York City as part of a unique, interfaith collaboration between the choirs of two renowned houses of worship. The first performance takes place at Temple Emanu-El on the 21st as part of the Friday evening service, led by K. Scott Warren. On the 23rd, the work receives its second performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Even Song service conducted by Kent Tritle.

Kent Tritle, Director of Music at St. John’s shares, “I’m delighted to have a setting of Psalm 23 by Paul. After my involvement in his larger scaled choral works, both Songs of Love and War and The Blizzard Voices, I’m so excited to have a work by Paul set for a cappella voices, and in the form of a miniature, compared to his larger works. In many ways, writing a piece like this is more taxing on a composer like Paul, because everything he may want to say about the text has to happen in such a concise fashion. We’re very pleased and excited to be participating in this premiere.”

Moravec’s I Will Fear No Evil joins fellow-Subito composer James Lees own “Psalms Project” commission Psalm 111, which premiered in October 2013, performed by the Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra at the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN.