pil· grim· age | |pil-gre-mij
1. a journey of a pilgrim; especially: one to a shrine or a sacred place
[ definition from Merriam-Webster ]
The Pilgrimage recording project was named in a quite straightforward fashion. In 2017, Résonance was invited to perform Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, at Holy Name Catholic Church. Holy Name, at the time, had in residence a fully illuminated St. John's Bible, an artifact of the faith which had inspired many people to make pilgrimage to Steamboat Springs to see it. This collaboration was to be Résonance's inaugural engagement outside the greater Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, metropolitan areas; thus, it was decided to program the ensemble's separate concert portion of the performance around the idea of pilgrimage. The repertoire we selected for Pilgrimage speaks directly to this theme whether representing the act of pilgrimage by journeying down to the river to pray, or 'a-wand ring' through this world of woe, or echoing the voices of the faithful who live their lives on spiritual pilgrimage to enlightenment and oneness with their chosen Creator in songs of their faith.
The concepts of pilgrimage and journey themselves as they relate to the ensemble itself entered the process of programming this album as well. In addition to coming about as a result of Résonance's first out-of-state tour, this project would also become the ensemble s first recording: the initial visit to the 'shrine' of creating an artifact for public consumption instead of its heretofore live-only performance history. It was fitting, then, to find ways to mirror the pilgrim s progress from familiar home territory at the outset to environs further afield after all, part of the value of pilgrimage is found in the leaving of home for places unknown. Thus are included both familiar staples of the choral repertoire, such as the Palestrina and Paulus works, as well as lesser-known but equally compelling works, like Howells' Requiem.
Finally, pilgrimage itself is rarely the fruition of the spiritual journey. The pilgrim is changed by the journey and arrival at the destination, embarking again afterward with new perspective and new goals. Similarly, this project has taught Résonance much about its purpose, process and passions. Equipped and empowered with newfound knowledge, further unforgettable experiences await future Résonance audiences.
[Adam Witte, June 2020]
PILGRIMAGE, a program of sublime choral music from the Résonance vocal ensemble, also in their debut. The ensemble's performances point to a bright future in front of the microphone.
~ MSR Classics
~ MSR Classics
I placed “PILGRIMAGE: A Journey in Choral Music” MSR CD in my CD player and hit ‘play’ without first reading the booklet. I was immediately struck by the resonance of the music without realizing “Résonance” is the name of the choral group featured on the disc! This ensemble, under the baton of A. Barron Breland, performed superbly on my stereo with excellent diction, harmony and depth of sound, appropriate to its name and also subject, religious pilgrimage in various historic settings. The selections range from the traditional spiritual “Down to the River to Pray” to Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus” and Herbert Howells’s “Requiem.” It concludes with “Pilgrims’ Hymn” by Stephen Paulus, enunciating the overall theme of the recording. Anyone who has sung in a chorus will greatly appreciate what these singers have accomplished individually and together. Though the recording is relatively brief, about 36 minutes, the selections are intense and engaging, lingering longer in the mind than time on a watch. It reminds us spiritual music did not die with the rise of atheism in the 19th and 20th centuries but lives on among us thanks to past and contemporary composers and superb choirs like Résonance.
~ Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove
~ Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove
TRADITIONAL | Arr. Ladizinsky-Radford
DOWN TO THE RIVER TO PRAY
Lauren Morrissey, soprano
Allison Matson, alto
TRADITIONAL | Arr. Caracciolo
THE WAYFARING STRANGER
Kaitlin Pearson, alto
GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DA PALESTRINA (1525-1594)
HOWARD HANSON (1896-1981)
PRAYER OF THE MIDDLE AGES
HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983)
I. Salvatore Mundi
II. Psalm 23
III. Requiem Aeternam (1)
IV. Psalm 121
V. Requiem Aeternam (2)
VI. I Heard a Voice from Heaven
Tara Cowherd, soprano | Janeen Jensen, alto
Joseph O'Connor, tenor | Tom Lesiak, baritone
STEPHEN PAULUS (1949-2014)
A. BARRON BRELAND, conductor
Kori Archbold, Elizebeth Brazeal, Tara Cowherd, Bethany (Eckloff) Rouse, Sarah Frederickson, Angela Gilbert, Becky Lowe-Weyand, Lauren Morrissey and Jennifer Tritz
Ellie (Beeson) Johnson, Nicole Chapman, Wendy Eaton, Janeen Jensen, Patty Kramer, Allison Matson, Kimberly Pearce and Kaitlin Pearson
Todd Brooks, Alexander Brown, Brian Jay, Joseph O’Connor, Nathan Saetveit, Jon Sronce, Adam Witte and Evan Wohlers
Jared Hiscock, Cody Jorgensen, Tom Lesiak, Joe Mendick, Paul Rath, Kyle Sandall and Jesse Wohlman