It goes without saying that Meira Warshauer’s “Tekeeyah (a call)” — a concerto for shofar — centers on religious themes. At the heart of the work is the pulsating call to repentance traditionally trumpeted through a ram’s horn on the High Holy Days. What’s less obvious is that Warshauer’s first symphony, the other major orchestral work on her new album, “Living Breathing Earth,” also stems from a spiritual impulse. At a CD launch event at New York’s Kaufman Center on June 20, the composer described the four-movement symphony as her “prayer for the health of the Earth.”
A self-described “environmentalist since the first Earth Day in 1970,” Warshauer is profoundly troubled by climate change, deforestation, and other ecological horrors that humans have wrought. And yet, this is far from an angry piece. In the symphony, she imagines the planet at its most tranquil and pristine. When offering a prayer on behalf of the sick, Warshauer reasoned, one strives to envision the ill person as “totally well and radiant.” Doesn’t the Earth deserve the same level of devotion?
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