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The German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in a Nazi concentration camp in April 1945, just two weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allies. A committed opponent of Hitler’s regime, Bonhoeffer had been denounced as a pacifist and enemy of the state as early as 1936. His arrest in 1943 led to two years in prison, and his fate was sealed when documents came to light in 1945 revealing his close links with the German Resistance. Having lived, preached and lectured in England and America, Bonhoeffer was already an international figure in the 1930s, but the publication after the war of his Letters and Papers from Prison confirmed his stature as an extraordinary man of faith, a rare combination of penetrating intellect, gentle humour and true Christian humility.
The first two of Moore’s responses to the Bonhoeffer texts are each coloured by one dominating melodic interval, a minor second in ‘Morning prayers’ and an augmented fourth in the stark, declamatory invocations of ‘Prayers in the time of distress’. Music was important to Bonhoeffer, and ‘Evening prayers’ is based on the melody of one of his favourite hymns, the Advent chorale Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, beginning as a fugue in flowing 5/4 metre, the individual strands finally coming together in a quietly harmonized chorale: ‘Into thy hands I commend my loved ones …’
from notes by David Gammie © 2014
|Music for Remembrance|
Throughout the past century Westminster Abbey has been a focus of national remembrance on Armistice Day. This latest album from its Choir is a programme of memorial music composed in England and France in the shadow of two World Wars. The main fea ...» More
|The Evening Hour|
The choir of Jesus College Cambridge contemplates the hours that take us from day into night in a programme of works by English composers from the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.» More