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New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records Release Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered September 25

New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records Release Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered on September 25

Mass, with libretto by Nathaniel Bellows, is a celebration of, and elegy for, the natural world, performed by English vocal ensemble Gallicantus led by Gabriel Crouch

Video for “Sanctus/Benedictus” available today

Private Press Stream - Mass for the Endangered
Downloadable MP3/WAV copies available via request
“One of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers.”
- Pitchfork

For immediate release –  Composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered, the fourth record in a partnership between New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records, will be released on September 25, 2020. A video for “Sanctus/Benedictus” from the Mass, made by Deborah Johnson/CandyStations, can be seen here. Snider’s Mass, with a libretto by poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows, is a celebration of, and an elegy for, the natural world—animals, plants, insects, the planet itself—an appeal for greater awareness, urgency, and action. Originally commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street, this recording features the English vocal ensemble Gallicantus conducted by Gabriel Crouch.
 
The six-movement Mass for the Endangered is a rumination on the concept of the traditional Catholic Mass, its fidelity enhanced by Snider’s interpolation of traditional Latin text for the Gloria, Sanctus/Benedictus, and parts of the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei. For the album art, Bellows created an illustrated triptych of endangered flora and fauna that evoke medieval Christian altarpieces and stained-glass windows.

"Sanctus/Benedictus," video created by Deborah Johnson / CandyStations

Snider explains, “The origin of the Mass is rooted in humanity’s concern for itself, expressed through worship of the divine—which, in the Catholic tradition, is a God in the image of man. Nathaniel and I thought it would be interesting to take the Mass’s musical modes of spiritual contemplation and apply them to concern for non-human life—animals, plants, and the environment. There is an appeal to a higher power—for mercy, forgiveness, and intervention—but that appeal is directed not to God but rather to Nature itself.”
 
Growing up in Princeton, NJ, one-time home of the American Boychoir School, Snider attended that venerable institution’s co-ed summer camp as a youth: “I attended for five summers. I fell in love with choral singing there, and later sang with the Princeton High School Choir, which was at the time one of the most celebrated high school choirs in the country. These experiences were profoundly formative for me, and I learned a lot of the choral repertoire. I felt very at home in that music, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to explore it in my writing in a significant way. The Mass was my first large choral commission, and I was thrilled to immerse myself in memories of singing the Mozart, Brahms, and Fauré Requiems, the Palestrina and Byrd Masses, the Bach chorales.
 
“Rather than consciously upend those traditions,” she continues, “I wanted to open the gates in my mind between centuries-old European vocal traditions and those of more recent American vernacular persuasion, and write from a place where differing thoughts about line, text, form, and expression could co-exist.”
 
Recently called a “significant voice on the American music landscape” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “an important representative of twenty-first century trends in composition” by New York Classical Review, composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” by the New York Times, “groundbreaking” by the Boston Globe, and “poignant, deeply personal” by the New Yorker. With an ear for the poetic and the architectural, Snider’s music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. Of her orchestral song cycle, Penelope, Pitchfork said: “Snider’s music lives in … an increasingly populous inter-genre space that, as of yet, has produced only a few clear, confident voices. Snider is perhaps the most sophisticated of them all.”
 
Snider’s works have been commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Aarhus Symfoniorkester, Britten Sinfonia, and National Arts Centre Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); eighth blackbird, A Far Cry, Ensemble Signal, The Knights, and yMusic; Roomful of Teeth, Cantus, and Trinity Wall Street Choir, among many others. Penelope and Unremembered, her first two LPs, earned critical acclaim from NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Nation, and Pitchfork. Her music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc.

Track Listing

Mass for the Endangered
 
I. Kyrie
II. Gloria
III. Alleluia
IV. Credo
V. Sanctus/Benedictus
VI. Agnus Dei

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“It is Snider’s fresh, instinctive way with voices that sets her apart from most of her peers in the so-called indie classical school.”
- Washington Post

Photos

About Sarah Kirkland Snider

Recently deemed “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers” (Pitchfork), “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer), and “an important representative of 21st century trends in composition” (New York Classical Review), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” (The New York Times), “groundbreaking” (The Boston Globe), and “poignant, deeply personal” (The New Yorker). With an ear for the poetic and the architectural, Snider’s music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. Of her orchestral song cycle, PenelopePitchfork‘s Jayson Greene proclaimed: “Snider’s music lives in…an increasingly populous inter-genre space that, as of yet, has produced only a few clear, confident voices. Snider is perhaps the most sophisticated of them all.”

Snider’s works have been commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; the Residentie Orkest Den HaagAarhus SymfoniorkesterBritten Sinfonia, and National Arts Centre Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); eighth blackbirdA Far CryEnsemble SignalThe Knights, and yMusicRoomful of TeethCantus, and Trinity Wall Street Choir; and many others. Conductors who have championed her work include Andreas DelfsDavid DanzmayrAndre dé RidderGiancarlo GuerreroRyan McAdamsRossen MilanovEdwin Outwater, and Leonard Slatkin. Her music has been heard in concert halls around the world including Carnegie Hall, the ElbphilharmonieLincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Wigmore Hall; and at festivals such as Big EarsBAM Next WaveAspenEcstaticColoradoCross-linx, SundanceBAM’s Crossing Brooklyn FerryBang On a Can SummerLiquid Music21C LiederabendNew York Festival of SongPodium (Germany), Oranjewoud (Holland), and Apples & Olives (Switzerland.) Penelope, her acclaimed song cycle inspired by The Odyssey on text by Ellen McLaughlin, has been performed over fifty times in North America and Europe.

About New Amsterdam Records

Established on principles of community, artistic diversity, and stylistic freedom, New Amsterdam Records (NewAm) is a not-for-profit artist’s service organization dedicated to supporting the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work transcends traditional and outdated genre distinctions. New Amsterdam is focused on the development, dissemination, presentation, and promotion of new album-based projects that wholly fulfill the intent of their creators, resulting in music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle. For our efforts, NewAm has been called “the focal point of the post-classical scene” by Time Out New York and “emblematic of an emerging generation” by The New York Times.

About Nonesuch Records

Founded as a budget classical label in 1964 by Jac Holzman, head of the then-independent Elektra Records, Nonesuch Records has grown over the last five decades to pursue a broad mission, including classical music, contemporary music, jazz, music theatre, traditional American and world music, popular and alternative music.

In a business filled with constant change, its leadership has been remarkably stable: two people—the late Tracey Sterne and, from 1984 to 2017, Bob Hurwitz—were at the helm for 47 of those years; David Bither, who joined Nonesuch in 1995 as Senior Vice President, became President in 2017, when Hurwitz became Chairman Emeritus. Nonesuch, wrote the Boston Globe a few years back, is "an oasis of artistic excitement. When one picks up a Nonesuch CD, there is a sense of occasion, the feeling that the artists in question have been assembled not only as an exercise in star power, but as an exercise in artistic exploration."

Contact

Andrew Ousley
andrew@unison.media
917.331.2337

Also:

Katy Henriksen, katy@newamrecords.com

Melissa Cusick, melissa.cusick@nonesuch.com
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