Eric Holtan’s Thematic Playlists

I Dream a World

January 15, 2021

This week’s Playlist is inspired by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday and comprised of hymns and spirituals expressing hope for better days to come. Selections include two of King’s favorite hymns, There is a Balm in Gilead and Precious Lord, Take My Hand. Other highlights include Moses Hogan’s rousing arrangement of My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord, a stunning new setting of Amazing Grace and a performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing by the Boys Choir of Harlem.

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First of all, I hope you and your loved ones are safe. In this time of sheltering at home and social distancing, music can provide comfort, companionship and a momentary escape from the worries of life and for the world…and boredom and isolation.

In this health crisis, we keep our distance from, and for the sake of, one another. Unfortunately, it means the suspension of most live performances and the collective experiences with music’s power to bring hearts together. My hope is that this Playlist series will fill some part of that void, and remind us that we remain connected through music’s universal language, whether we may be miles, or just six feet, apart.

My Playlists are designed to be like concerts, of about an hour in length. Each will be organized by a theme. Much like True Concord concerts, these Playlists will be derived from a range of outstanding choral music, from the great masterworks to works by the top composers of our time, with particular focus on America’s rich choral tradition. And always rendered by the best possible recordings available on Spotify…or at least those that speak to me.

If music be the food of love, play on.

– Eric Holtan, Founding Music Director of True Concord Voices & Orchestra

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