for five voices and basso continuo / 2014
In silent grey I see her face; where are the words we used to say? Heartbroken rain falling, yet never doubt that you are loved. The one coming close day by day.
Despondency descends to me; my heart starts crying endlessly: "Enlighten me! Save me!" Fly far beyond and reach the light; embrace bravely your gaiety.
This chorale, for which I wrote the music and text, is my tribute to one of my favourite masters, J.S. Bach. Imitating such elements as rhythm and voice leading in Bach chorales, my chorale consists of contemporary tonal harmony with the number of voices expanded to five. The combination of this ancient form with new materials explores the possible musical outcome in a parallel universe where Bach lived today with access to contemporary tonal techniques. The piece depicts my emotions and mindset along my journey of exploring my identity, overcoming challenges and pursuing my dream in my four years of undergraduate studies.
Elisabeth Hetherington, soprano I
Alyssa Curto, soprano II
Emily D'Angelo, alto
Mathias Memmel, tenor
Mikhail Shemet, bass
Rashaan Allwood, piano
Zi-Xiao He, cello
Recorded in Walter Hall, University of Toronto, March 18, 2014
Copyright © Zi-Xiao He 2014