Caroline Shaw: “To the Hands” from Seven Responses
By Caroline Shaw
February 16, 2020
Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
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Seven of the world's foremost composers were asked to write 21st-century responses to Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, an iconic sacred work of the German Baroque focusing on Christ’s suffering on the cross. Shaw’s response “To the Hands,” scored for SATB choir and strings, begins inside the 17th century sound of Buxtehude. It expands and colors and breaks this language, as the piece’s core considerations of the suffering of those around the world seeking refuge, and of our role and responsibility in these global and local crises gradually come into focus.