From the cathedral’s release:
We’re taking a moment to reflect just how timely Bonhoeffer’s words are, as heard in Tom’s piece:
“Sometimes we are reminded how closely our own lives are bound up with others …. how the centre of our own lives is outside ourselves…”
Our recognition extends to all of the artists of The Crossing… and to the orchestra – John Grecia, Rebecca Harris, Thomas Mesa, and Mika Godbole, engineer Paul Vazquez and producer Adrian Peacock, the label Albany Records, and to all who supported this amazing musical endeavor.
The Crossing, 8855 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118
For more information: Dr. Thomas Lloyd firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Nailor for The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
Following the 70-minute piece’s 2013 premiere, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a piece on the performance, touching on its history and its structure.
The piece’s artistic significance springs from (but doesn’t trade on) its subject, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the influential Lutheran theologian who was part of the “Stauffenberg Plot” to assassinate Adolf Hitler . Texts were drawn not just from Bonhoeffer’s protests against religious institutions capitulating to the Nazis but letters to his ambivalent fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer, who after Bonhoeffer’s 1944 execution lived in Bryn Mawr.
In his program notes, Lloyd, music director of the cathedral, envisioned “choral theater,” in which male singers in street clothes melted into the audience at times and made dramatic entrances at others. The musical envelope was filled out by a small chamber ensemble and three female soloists. With a loosely traced scenario conveying Bonhoeffer’s inner journey, no one voice was assigned to a particular character.
From Lloyd’s biography:
Thomas Lloyd is a classical conductor, Grammy-nominated composer, and singer. He currently is a Professor of Music at Haverford College, where he has directed the combined Choral and Vocal Studies Program for Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges since 1996. He has also served as Artistic Director of the Bucks County Choral Society since 2000. In addition, he was appointed Director of Music at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral in 2010, where he has reconstituted the Cathedral Singers with a core of eight professional choral scholars. He has remained active as a tenor soloist in his role as cantor at the Cathedral and as a recitalist with Lyric Fest of Philadelphia.
More on Bonhoeffer can be found here.