Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham: What the Earth Says

Duke University Chapel 401 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC, United States

Rodney Wynkoop, director Our created world has so much wondrous beauty, which we are called to treasure and protect. “Sacred Place” offers words by poet Wendell Berry, naturalist John Muir, and others to celebrate these natural gifts and to lament the possibility of losing them. Composer Alex Berko adds violin, cello, and piano to the choral sounds of this very recent and highly praised piece. Balancing this is another extended piece written 100 years earlier, Swiss composer Frank Martin’s “Mass" for double choir. Though undiscovered for 40 years, it became, very quickly after its premiere, both admired for its originality and loved for its aural impact. Its sounds and style show an affinity with J.S. Bach and even earlier music, leading one writer to describe it as “an homage to the vocal polyphony of the Renaissance.” The world premiere of a Mark Kilstofte composition, with haunting words by Rilke, as well as Jake Runestad’s "The peace of wild things,” with poetry by Wendell Berry, will also be sung.