Harp and Altar
was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet. At its core, this piece is a love song to the Brooklyn Bridge. The title comes from a poem by Hart Crane, in which he describes the Brooklyn Bridge as "that harp and altar of the Fury fused". The Borough of Brooklyn is impossible to describe, but the Brooklyn Bridge seems to be an apt symbol for its vastness, its strength and its history. Halfway through the work the vocalist Gabriel Kahane's pre-recorded voice enters, singing fragments of these lines from Crane's poem, The Bridge:
Through the bound cable strands, the arching path
Upward, veering with light, the flight of strings,
Taut miles of shuttling moonlight syncopate
The whispered rush, telepathy of wires.
— Missy Mazzoli
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