New pieces have been commissioned to augment the music by composers like Zoltán Kodály, Arvo Pårt, Henryk Gorecki, Ivan Moody, Jan Gilbert, and Mason Bates.
The composing duties have been divided. Roxanna Panufnik lends her talent to the childhood of Jesus with poetry by Jessica Duchen. The portion that deals with the death of Jesus has been set by Peter Michaelides. There’s also a new setting of The Lord’s Prayer by San Francisco-based composer Ilyas Iliya.
“Almost all of the works are performed in English,” said Chanticleer’s music director, Matthew
In another departure from traditional church music writing, the new work focuses on man as a flesh-and-blood being. Church compositions, by tradition, have focused on the divine, on the mystical elements of the church, not the corporeal nature of humans.
Chanticleer has traveled the world, dazzling audiences everywhere with its beautiful singing versatility from Renaissance to Baroque, jazz, gospel, folk, and, as
in this case, contemporary compositions.
The Boy Whose Father Was God: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street (at Taylor), April 1, 8 p.m., tickets $20–$40 at 415-392-4400, 800-407-1400, www.chanticleer.org ; additional information at 415-252-8589.