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This work was commissioned by Lucy Bailey and The Gogmagogs. It was first performed by The Gogmagogs at the Aldeburgh Festival on 21st June 1997.
Having in our own minds desanctified ourselves, we have also desanctified the natural world in our minds....This self-image and world view have their origin in our loss of memory, in our forgetfulness of who we are, and in our fall to a level of ignorance and stupidity that threatens the survival of our race.
Πέιρα - the Greek word means stone or rock - is an act of recollection that came to me in a half-waking state. It is an attempt to see the human race as sacred beings, even as semi-divine beings, not in our own right, but because we are created in the divine image, in the image of God. We should look upon every part of the cosmos as sacred, but we have forgotten, hence the nostalgia and sense of loss held within the sacred in Seferis' poetry.
Gradually, the transcendent becomes inseparable. It builds throughout, in the transcendent figure of the violin harmonics, the repeated Πέιρα, Πέιροσ, I build' sections and in a rising figure which eventually becomes 'Ανέσιή' (Risen), sung by all the members of the group. 'Risen, Rise, Rise....Yes the whole of nature, but 'we who on our feet are dying' have forgotten.
Discography - Petra
Choir & Orchestra of The Academy of Ancient Music
Patricia Rozario, soprano Julia Gooding, soprano Andrew Manze, violin George Mosley, baritone
See full list
04 FEB 2014
St. Nicolaus Church Tallinn, Estonia
12 FEB 2004
Song of the Angel
Song for Athene
Academy of Ancient Music's London Season
St John's, Smith Square, London
Choir of New College, Oxford
Patricia Rozario; Paul Goodwin, conductor
13 February - Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts, UK
01 JUL 1997
City of London Festival
Bridewell Theatre London
Lucy Bailey, conductor
2-4 July - Bridewell Theatre London
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