Where Flames a Word appears here, the work this wonderful new-music choir commissioned from me two years ago, setting three works of Paul Celan.
I share the disc with extraordinary pieces by Paul Fowler, David Shapiro, Kirsten Broberg, Frank Havrøy, and Erhard Karkoschka, all using words of Celan and Philip Levine, and all pushing The Crossing’s artistry to places I wouldn’t have thought of.
It was a joy to sit in and be an extra pair of ears at the recording sessions last summer, and I realize now even more how virtuosic these singers are. The technical prowess is unmistakable, but their love for the music was just as powerful, even through the long hours of taping. I remembered this from Vespers, but it was particularly noticeable on this all-unaccompanied CD, their first solo release.
As always, Donald Nally’s directing is organic and riveting. His love (that word again) for the music, the words, the singers seems all-encompassing. It was ear-opening, during the sessions, to hear what he could hear.
I think a lot of people are going to have their heads knocked off by what The Crossing does. Thrilling it is to be a part of it.