Letter to the Editor – Daily Item – posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 8:00 am
As a classical musician who has recently moved to the Lewisburg area, I was awed by the fact that the Susquehanna Valley Chorale and its board had commissioned a new work for Chorale, two acclaimed soloists and orchestra: “Reaping the Whirlwind/The Harvest of War” by Jeffrey Van. That is a huge undertaking. The performance on Sunday, Oct. 12, preceded by “The Testament of Freedom” by another American composer, Randell Thompson, was very timely as we see war around our world on TV, and grapple with whether war solves any problems.
Words were taken from “Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms” (July 6, 1775) in the Thompson work, and Walt Whitman and other heart wrenching pieces from writers between 17th and 20th centuries in the Van work. All words were dramatically described musically in both works. The performance was as exciting as any I could have experienced in Philadelphia or New York! William Payn, SVC conductor and music director, inspired the best out of all the musicians and my heart was truly broken open by the end of the performance.
Kathleen Stayton, Northumberland