We're delighted to announce that Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century (ECM) won a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. A large-scale work scored for chamber choir and saxophone quartet, The Fifth Century was premiered by The Crossing and PRISM Quartet under Donald Nally in July 2014.
Dedicated to the memory of The Crossing co-founder Jeff Dinsmore, The Fifth Century is an elegiac setting of meditations by 17th-century metaphysical poet Thomas Traherne. In his program note, Bryars' writes, "although Traherne lived in the 17th century, his work was unknown for over 200 years, and was first published in the first decade of the 20th century. It has an intense spirituality, celebrating the glory of creation, his almost intimate relationship with God and leading, in the final section to an apotheosis in which he declaims the 'essence of God.' In many ways his work is astonishingly modern with its unwitting 'Eastern' sound and feeling. The constant recurrence of certain images and abstract nouns is a feature of the language and is reflected in the musical setting."
The PRISM Quartet is honored to be part of The Fifth Century, and congratulates all of our friends at The Crossing, especially Donald Nally and Tony Creamer for their vision, and Gavin Bryars for his sublime composition. Thanks also to Andreas Meyer and Paul Vazquez for their superb production and audio engineering, and ECM for sharing the recording with the world.
Click HERE to learn more about The Fifth Century.