Sursum Corda

Instrumentation: Cello
Duration: 8:43
Premiere: 2/27/85
Erika Duke, E.A.R. Unit, Cal Arts
Santa Clarita, CA

Program Note:
Sursum Corda is a versicle of thanksgiving in the Catholic liturgy. I found the name musically suggestive of the internal quiet of prayer and the external voice of joy. The music develops around these two themes, ultimately moving from the first to the second over the course of the piece. I composed Sursum Corda while participating in the composer/choreographer program at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, in 1981. It was created for and premiered by cellist Erika Duke of the E.A.R. Unit and choreographed by Clarice Marshall. –JS

Press Quote:
“[Shatin’s] Sursum Corda is a brilliant essay in modernism, with soaring lyric lines that emerge gradually and triumphantly from a series of cool displays of technical brilliance: glissando harmonics, simultaneous bowed and pizzicato notes, gruff declamation and sparkling arpeggios.” – The Washington Post


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