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Stephen Schwartz Choral Music - "Keramos" and "Testimony"

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Schwartz's Choral Songs


Mp3 and CD: "Keramos" on One Is the All recording by the Choral Project includes this lovely choral piece by the American composer Stephen Schwartz.

Question: I know the work was commissioned by the Choral Project. Did you choose the text? If so, how did you come upon it? How did you decide which verses to include, omit, and the ordering of verses?

Answer from Stephen Schwartz: The text was originally suggested to me by Daniel Hughes, the director of the Choral Project. I liked it very much when he sent it to me, and it immediately suggested music to me, particularly the constant, circular motion you mention. I went through the poem and made decisions about what verses to include and in what order, based on my own responses to the content and emotion of the poem. I tried to arrive at a structure that had its own natural build and "story".

Question: How do you define "Keramos"? I have found several translations, and since the utterances of the word sound like various layers of the movement of the wheel, I wondered how you see, or hear the translation of the word.

Answer from Stephen Schwartz: I was been told by friends who speak Greek, when I asked, that "keramos" can mean both the "ceramic" and the "ceramicist" (or "potter".) I tended to think of it more as the former, as the clay that is being formed and reformed by the invisible Potter, be it nature or the universe or God.




Read all about Testimony. Stephen Schwartz originally wrote "Testimony" for the SFGMC with lyrics drawn from the "It Gets Better" project.

"Tyler Suite"

Schwartz has contributed music to a new piece to the "Tyler Suite" also for the SFGMC, premiered in 2014.