October 11, 2020
Simeron Kremate performed live-stream throughout the summer
Pianist Paul Barnes
Pianist Paul Barnes

Pianist Paul Barnes has performed Victoria Bond's composition "Simeron Kremate" throughout the summer in a series of live-streamed concerts from the Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Nebraska.

Watch the video of his performance here: WatchWatch

Simeron Kremate by composer Victoria Bond was written in the fall of 2018/spring of 2019 and is based on the Greek Orthodox crucifixion chant from the Holy Thursday service during Orthodox Holy Week. Its opening five-note melody in the plagal of the second mode features the augmented seconds that are characteristic of this musically compelling mode. The text “Simeron kremate” opens the hymn emphasizing the liturgical truth that “today” (simeron), we mystically participate in this great act of love from the past. Ms. Bond also decided to incorporate a Jewish Passover chant “Tal” (dew) whose opening melody bears an uncanny similarity to the opening of the Greek chant. This Jewish prayer for the blessing of dew is sung on the first day of Passover, the date of which the Greek Orthodox always consider for the timing of their own celebration of Pascha, the Greek word for “Passover.” Just as the Jewish community liturgically asks God for the gift of dew, so the Greek Orthodox community contemplates the gift of God in Christ, who today is suspended on a cross. The work opens with the traditional apichima of the plagal of the second mode which aurally establishes the mode. Ms. Bond follows this with a Jewish style cantillation which leads to the first statement of the “Simeron” chant. This opening of the chant is then developed in multiple ways before the intimate entry of the “Tal” melody. The work concludes with a ‘tranquillo’ passage of rare beauty. The work ends tentatively as the opening notes of the chant dissipate into eternity. The work was jointly commissioned by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the University of Nebraska and the Soli Deo Gloria Music Foundation in Chicago. ——Paul Barnes


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