was commissioned to celebrate Philip Brunelle’s fortieth year as choirmaster and organist of Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brunelle first introduced Bingham’s music to the United States in the 1980s, establishing a lasting friendship between composer, conductor and his various choirs. The essence of Harvest
, first heard at Plymouth Congregational Church in November 2008, is distilled in its rapt setting of ‘These things, these things were here, and but the beholder / Wanting’: ‘Christ is there, if you just look’, suggests Bingham. The full title of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem, Hurrahing in Harvest
, and its teeming references to landscape and the natural world, celebrate the presence of Christ (‘physical and muscular’ in Bingham’s view) in all created things. Late summer’s heat and languor condition the style of the work’s opening, its sultry atmosphere gradually offset by music of great rhythmic vitality and transcended by choir and organ in their radiant apotheosis: ‘The heart rears wings’.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2013