The Northern Wild
Saturday, November 18 at 8 PM
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia
Sunday, November 19 at 3 PM
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia
In programming The Northern Wild, we searched for a musical kernel that would make a concert of a wide range of styles hold together in a compelling way. In that search, we realized that our favorite music by composers like Veljo Tormis, Jean Sibelius, and Eriks Ešenvalds simply sounds like it couldn’t come from anywhere else in the world. This is not to say that all the music we’ll sing sounds the same—far from it. Tormis’ folk roots could not be more different than the cerebral soundscapes of R. Murray Schafer, while Sibelius and Elgar teeter on the threshold between the late romantic and early modern. But despite all the differences, the wild North is the irreplaceable central character in all of the pieces. This music is grounded in visceral explorations of what it’s like to be in the North, to have the wild earth beneath one’s feet and to be in the unwavering watch of the same celestial bodies for months on end.
There is a loneliness in the way much of this music stretches out like the untouched lands and vast skies it evokes. But in regions still dominated by primal forces, there is great joy in making singular human connections—with a neighboring cowherd across acres of pasture, with a lover thought lost over the hillside, or simply with oneself in the stillness of the pines. These connections are why we sing together, and why we’ll be so glad to have you join us.