It’s with great pleasure that we present two concerts of contemporary religious (at least, deeply spiritual) choral music by Philadelphia’s The Crossing at Church Street United Methodist Church. Since their formation over a decade ago, The Crossing have become one of the foremost American choral ensembles working today, presenting numerous commissions and over forty world premieres. At Big Ears, the chamber choir will perform Gavin Bryars’ new choral work, The Fifth Century, on Friday evening and David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion on Saturday.
For the Friday night performance, The Crossing will be joined by Prism Saxophone Quartet for their performance of The Fifth Century. Their recently released ECM recording of Bryars’ work has garnered rave reviews, cited by many as a top classical recording of 2016. Composer David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, is full of latent Christian elements with passages from the Gospel of St. Matthew and Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion.” It earned Lang the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2008. These performances of otherworldly beauty are not to be missed at the festival next month.