The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally and known for their innovation and commitment to new music, premiere's a work by composer Francis Pott commissioned for the opening concert of the National Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. They also perform Pott's monumental Love Unknown (2002), a much-requested encore performance from their 2009 season. The performance continues by exploring a variety of sacred texts with familiar composers Gabriel Jackson and James MacMillan while introducing the extraordinarily creative compositional voice of Estonia’s Toivo Tulev in his Rejoice!, Rejoice! Rejoice! (composed for Elizabeth II’s 2006 state visit to Estonia) and Summer Rain, a gripping postmodern meditation on Rorate Coeli. Rounding out the program is British composer Gavin Bryars' elegiac Glorious Hill, named for the small-town Mississippi setting of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. Bryars exploits a powerful emotional and philosophical connection between the penultimate scene and a passage from the Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man which forms the text of Glorious Hill. This passage has been described as one of the few passages in Renaissance philosophy to treat human freedom in a modern way. The text, which is sung in Latin, is addressed by God to Adam before the fall from grace:
"Neither an established place, nor a form belonging to you alone, nor any special function have We given to you, O Adam, and for this reason, that you may have and possess, according to your desire and judgement, whatever place, whatever form, and whatever functions you shall desire. The nature of other creatures, which has been determined, is confined within the bounds described by Us. You, who are confined by no limits, shall determine for yourself your own nature, in accordance with your own free will, in whose hand I have placed you. I have set you at the centre of the world, so that there you may more easily survey whatever is in the world. We have made you neither heavenly nor earthly, neither mortal nor immortal, so that, more freely and more honourably the moulder and maker of yourself, you may fashion yourself in whatever form you shall prefer. You shall be able to descend among the lower forms of being, which are brute beasts; you shall be able to be reborn out of the judgement of your own soul, into the higher beings, which are divine."
Recorded on June 17, 2012