This Week at Hearts of Space: Terror and Hope – Jonathan Elias’ The Prayer Cycle

About this program from Hearts of Space Stephen Hill tells us:

“This week we mark the 10th anniversary of the historic
attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Memory of traumatic
events changes over time; while others will be recounting the
facts and events of that day…we will recall some of the feelings
it provoked by repeating a special program from the following week.
Even after 10 years, the wound remains tender, the fear it created
remains present, and the hope for a better world remains a vision
and a prayer.

It was an epoch-defining event that temporarily rendered everything
else insignificant. Even our ordinary diet of violent media had not
prepared us to comprehend the implacable hatred and disregard for
life of this phantom enemy. Perhaps no single act in American
history has raised more questions, more emotions, more tears.

In the weeks following the attacks, as we arose from our pain and
began to move forward, we remained poised on the edge of catharsis
— and it is in that spirit that we bring you a program called

If spring is the season of hope, then it is fitting that in the
spring of 1999, in advance of the Millenium, Sony Classical
released a choral symphony by New York composer JONATHAN ELIAS,
titled THE PRAYER CYCLE. As we did in 1999, this week we devote
the entirety of Hearts of Space to this extraordinary music. But
this week, it will sound different, feel different, and will have
a different meaning.

JONATHAN ELIAS began writing THE PRAYER CYCLE in the period immedi-
ately before the birth of his first child. ‘I was excited by the
possibilities for my child,’ he says, ‘but I also felt anxiety and
sadness about the world she was about to enter. With all the
wondrous advances of mankind, it was painful to acknowledge the
other defining characteristic of the 20th century, which is more
calculated and cold-blooded than any other period of recorded
history. Is man’s inhumanity to man as common in our nature as
other forms of survival? With these thoughts and concerns, I began
to write The Prayer Cycle.’

The effect of this brilliant multi-cultural, multi-language
production is extraordinarily powerful and appropriate. ‘Prayer,’
says composer Elias, ‘is what we turn to when the only thing we
have left…is hope.’

JONATHAN ELIAS’ THE PRAYER CYCLE… a eulogy for the 20th century
…a prayer for the 21st… and a plea for a world where we have
no choice but to get along — because anything else is unthinkable.
TERROR AND HOPE…on this edition…of Hearts of Space.

Stephen Hill

The music:
Sony Classical SK 60569; 1999

Performed by the English Chamber Orchestra & Chorus,
Conducted by Lawrence Schwartz, plus the American Boychoir
[with vocal soloists as noted below]

Mercy (extended)
Alanis Morissette & Salif Keita

Alanis Morissette & Devin Provenzano

Perry Farrell, Richard Bona, Yungchen Lhamo,& Liz Constantine

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Mah Damba

James Taylor; Guitar: John Williams

Salif Keita & Alanis Morissette

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Ofra Haza

Linda Ronstadt, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, & Devin Provenzano

Alanis Morissette & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Grace (reprise edited)
Guitar: John Williams

From The program:

Thank you, Stephen.

The weekly program is FREE on Sundays

Enjoy Hearts of Space in a variety of ways on your iPhone and many phones in the ANDROID system

Special Note:

If you are “attending” Marvin Rosen’s We Remember 9/11 Marathon at WPRB, it is from 7:00PM Saturday September 10, to 7:00PM Sunday September 11. That still leaves five hours for the listener to take advantage of the H.O.S. offering of free streaming of the weekly program all day Sunday.

Marvin Rosen