“Waking” a compelling world premiere
“I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I learn by going where I have to go.”
Set to such gently provocative prose by American poet Theodore Roethke, Terry Schlenker’s “The Waking” — for choir and chamber orchestra — is an emotionally compelling musical experience that recalls the compositional spirit of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Commissioned by the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir and Augustana Arts, the world premiere of “The Waking” saturated St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral on Sunday afternoon with a haunting, harmonically expansive soundscape comprising open choral unisons and a rhythmically mesmerizing orchestral accompaniment that was ably delivered by the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra.
Sabine Kortals, special to The Denver Post [9-29-08]
Mass for Double Choir
“This piece……is a lush and rarefied piece of strong sacred power and appeal. Name any spiritual emotion typically evoked by the Latin mass: hushed mystery, crushing grief, ecstatic joy, or abject reverence – and you’ll find it here. The music – performed here for the first time anywhere – is radiant and ethereal, built on modal (and other ancient) foundations, deftly translated into striking and original modern musical language.”
American Record Guide
March / April 2006
“This new CD includes premieres from the 10th season (2003-04) of Denver’s St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. The feature work, Mass for Double Choir is written by ensemble member Terry Schlenker and is distinctively unique. It is filled with precision, beauty and dramatic intensity, yet is devout and songful. It has been said this piece “has Legs”…that it will be performed by other choirs. It offers a prestigious challenge to listener and singer alike. The Mass presents rich and varied harmonies that ring with expressive power.”
O Come Emmanuel