A new liturgical year at CUUC is marked by our annual Ingathering Ceremony. In the intervening months, some of us have been refreshed by purifying springs, while others have felt submerged by inundating forces, tussled by tsunamis of change, or soothed by lapping waves. This morning's Water Ceremony features solo piano works by Jacques Ibert, Edward MacDowell, Ernst Bloch, and Felix Mendelssohn, all chosen to embody the diverse waters of our summers. Our church year opens as well in the midst of the Jewish High Holidays, marked by a return appearance of cellist Caleb van der Swaagh. Caleb and I have recorded works from Ernst Bloch's Jewish Life and Max Bruch's iconic setting of the Kol Nidrei chant to share this morning. Read on for programming details and for Caleb's bio. It's good to be back,
GATHERING MUSIC: Caleb van der Swaagh, cello; Adam Kent, piano
WATER MUSIC 1: Shining Waters of Joy and Happiness
"La marchande d'eau fraîche" from Histoires ("The Fresh Water Saleslady" from Stories)
WATER MUSIC 2: Storm Waters of Grief and Sadness
"De Profundis" from Sea Pieces, Op. 55
WATER MUSIC 3: Rushing Waters of Change and Transition
"At Sea" from Poems of the Sea
WATER MUSIC 4: Calm Waters of Rest and Relaxation
Song without Words in F# Minor, Op. 30, No. 6 "Venetian Boat Song"
MUSICAL MEDITATION: Kol Nidrei, Op. 47
Traditional Jewish Liturgical, arr. by Max Bruch
MUSIC FOR PARTING:
Caleb van der Swaagh, cello
Praised for his “entrancing” performances (National Sawdust Log), cellist Caleb van der Swaagh is a versatile chamber musician and soloist. He is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW (now known as Ensemble Connect) – a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Caleb is the recipient of the Tanglewood Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Prize and the Manhattan School of Music Pablo Casals Award, and was also a grant recipient from the Virtu Foundation.
In demand as a chamber musician, Caleb is member of Exponential Ensemble, a mixed instrumentation chamber ensemble. He has performed with such ensembles as The Knights, A Far Cry, Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Borromeo String Quartet, Metropolis Ensemble, Ensemble LPR, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Recent festival appearances include appearances at the Chelsea Music Festival, Ottawa ChamberFest, Garth Newel Music Center, Music from Montauk, 23Arts Summer Music Festival, Edelio Festival, and Birdfoot Festival. As a recording artist, Caleb’s recent releases include the Against Method with counter)induction on New Focus Recordings and Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Quintet with Phoenix Ensemble on Navona Records. Additional appearances include albums on Albany Records, Bright Shiny Things, Supertrain Records, Linn Records, and Avie Records.
An advocate of contemporary music, Caleb is a member of counter)induction, Ensemble Échappé, and Ensemble Ipse. He also performs regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles including Argento Chamber Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Either/Or, S.E.M Ensemble, and Hotel Elefant. He has premiered works by such composers as Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer Christian Wolff, Roscoe Mitchell, and Iancu Dumitrescu, among others, as well as performing his own compositions and arrangements.
A native New Yorker, Caleb graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University as part of the Columbia – Juilliard Exchange program with a degree in Classics and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Caleb received his master’s degree with academic honors from New England Conservatory and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music. His primary teachers are Bonnie Hampton, Laurence Lesser, and David Geber. Caleb plays on a cello made by David Wiebe in 2012. For more information, visit www.calebvanderswaagh.com.