World Premiere of the Complete Version of Gavin Bryars's A Native Hill by The Crossing
Oct. 01, 2019
On October 13, The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, performs the world premiere of Gavin Bryars's A Native Hill in its complete version. The ensemble gave a partial premiere of the work last season on The Annenberg Center's concert series. A Native Hill is Bryars’ second collaboration with The Crossing following The Fifth Century in 2014, which won a Grammy Award. This substantial new evening-length unaccompanied work sets texts by the American writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry, from his 1968 essay of the same title. Gavin Bryars's decision to set Berry’s 1968 essay of the same name was influenced by the implicit social and political force that lies behind Berry’s words that, at first appearance, might seem to be purely pastoral descriptions of rural existence. He says: "There’s a kind of breath to it and a sort of universality, which goes way beyond that. So I was struck by the […] profundity that was there by implication; not obviously."
A Native Hill is composed in twelve sections that build to a finale in which the 24 voices of the choir separate into individual parts, forming a rich chromatic cluster. Out of the dense passages, Bryars slowly exposes familiar harmonies and melodic movement.
(The Path to A Native Hill - The Crossing and Gavin Bryars)
Listen to Gavin Bryars's Cello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy) (1995) here:
(Cello Concerto/Gavin Bryars/English Chamber Orchestra/Julian Lloyd Weber, cello/James Judd, conductor)
To learn more about Gavin Bryars, visit: schott-music.com.
A Native Hill (2018)
for unaccompanied chorus
The Fifth Century (2014)
On Photography (1983)
for chorus (SATB), harmonium, and piano