To help ring in the New Year, Kent Tritle presents a variety of pieces composed in the last 50 years -- and some in the last five years or less.
Composers from the former Soviet Union have often written vividly for chorus, as we hear in both Krzysztof Penderecki’s epic setting of the Credo and in Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Miserere, a slow-moving and deeply contemplative work from 1989.
Among the more unusual pieces this week is On Photography, a rich-hued work by English composer Gavin Bryars. Set to a Latin poem by Pope Leo XIII, the piece was composed for Robert Wilson's aborted operatic project, The CIVIL WarS (1983) and revived as a stand-alone work in 1994.
Finally, we travel to Southern California, home to two influential American choral composers. We hear excerpts from O nata lux, by Morten Lauridsen, the former composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. And we get a taste of one of today's hottest choral composers, Eric Whitacre, best known for his virtual choir projects.