Commissioned by the Addison Singers. First performed by the Addison Singers and Brandenburg Sinfonia conducted by David Wordsworth at St Peter’s Church, Acton Green, London, on 26 November 2022.
O Sweet Spontaneous Earth is a suite for chorus and string orchestra, commissioned by the Addison Singers, and dedicated to their conductor David Wordsworth. The three movements set texts, by historical American poets, whose themes I have often referred to in earlier compositions. Each poem is about the Earth, and our experience of living on it.
O sweet spontaneous by E E Cummings (1894-1962) talks about the Earth's persevering efforts to regenerate itself despite the depredations of its inhabitants; the movement ends with an extended anthem on the word "spring".
Peace on Earth by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) speaks of the magnificent constellations of stars shining in the sky above us while we sleep peacefully. The music borrows this contrast; energetic stars speeding through space, quietly immobile humanity beneath them.
I reason, Earth is short by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) ponders the short time we actually spend on Earth, and what happens afterwards. I borrowed the hymn-like feel of the poem to write a three-verse chorale, thoughtful in character, similar to the ending of a Bach cantata.
Programme note © 2022 Judith Weir
- Choral Highlights 2022
- In recent months and for the season ahead the Wise Music choral catalogues are once again burgeoning with new works. There are new pieces and publications from Richard Allain, Peter Bruun, Britta Byström, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Matthew Martin, Paul Mealor, Nico Muhly, Owain Park, Joby Talbot and Judith Weir, plus new repertoire from recent Australian signing Ross Edwards.
- O Sweet Spontaneous Earth - Judith Weir's new work for choir and strings
- 21st November 2022
- A new choral work by Judith Weir that reflects on our relationship with the Earth receives its world premiere on November 26.