Michael Lawrence has posted some nice words, some awfully nice words, about Vespers at The New Liturgical Movement. It meant a lot to me when, referring to my setting of “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,” he said, “This is a tune that had gone sour for me—until I heard this performance.” I’ll have to ask him sometime what went sour and what could possibly have changed his mind from what I’ve done, but in the meantime I’m tickled as can be that some folks are enjoying the snippets from the premiere on YouTube; there are a few out there but I think this is the one Michael watched.
People commented on Michael’s post. I wrote this, which is also an update on the CD:
“I can’t say enough about Piffaro, The Crossing, and Donald Nally, all of whom brought this about. It’s a (quite remarkable, as I think about it) collaboration between two giants in their respective ﬁelds, an early-music instrumental group, and a new-music choir. We indeed recorded this in late July, which gave me a chance to do a little rewriting after the January 2008 premiere. We’re editing the recording now, and we expect an early 2009 release on Parma Recordings. This Vespers is my attempt to write a piece ﬁlled with the spirit of Renaissance-era German church music; it includes chorales and chant, and is played on the instruments of that time. My rewriting on this (especially on the Deo gratias), by the way, was itself inspired by my wife’s and my attendance at the glorious Colloquium in Chicago.”
And I’m not kidding about that last part; I wrote about it here. There were some middling changes I made throughout the Vespers after the premiere, but I did some major rewriting on “Psalm 27” and “Deo gratias,” and the Colloquium helped to re-plug me into some sacred electricity to ﬁnish those off. Don’t know exactly when the CD’s coming out, but it can’t be too soon for me.