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Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Publisher: Chester Music

Ad Genua (2016)
Work Notes
Commissioned by The Crossing and Donald Nally, conductor, with major support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
Text Writer
Guðrún Eva Minervudottir
Chester Music Ltd
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
10 Minutes

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Programme Note
Anna Thorvaldsdottir Ad Genua (2016)
Ad Genua was commissioned by the Philadelphia-based chamber choir The Crossing. It is one of a series of responses by contemporary composers to Dieterich Buxtehude’s sacred oratorio of 1680 Membra Jesu Nostri. Buxtehude’s piece comprises seven cantatas, each addressed to one of the limbs of Christ hanging on the cross. My piece is a response to the second cantata, Ad Genua (To the Knees).

Guðrún Eva Minervudottir’s beautiful text inspired the lyricism of the solo voice that planted the seeds for the music. The music is also inspired by the notions of humility and of turning a blind eye - and a sense of longing for beauty in the face of pain and difficulty. The music envelops the solo voices in a dreamlike state, both terrifying and calm at the same time. She is surrounded by elements that occupy the same space, but she is alone, unheard – passionately longing for “reality” to resonate with her. But it is easy not to see the pain that does not belong to you.

Ad Genua was first performed by The Crossing and International Contemporary Ensemble conducted by Donald Nally at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral on 24 June 2016.

Programme note by Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    The Crossing; International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 14 APR 2018
    Ryan Opera Theater, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble; Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble
    Donald Nally, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 April - Ryan Opera Theater, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • 25 JAN 2018
    NJORD Biennale 2018
    Charlottenborg Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Mogens Dahls Kammerkor
    Mathias Kjøller, clarinet; Mogens Dahl, conductor
  • 02 DEC 2017
    Ad Genua UK Premiere
    Shades of Silence UK Premiere
    Spitalfields Music Festival 2017
    St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, London
    The Erebus Ensemble; La Nuova Musica
    Tom Williams, conductor

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