To the Hands mvt. 3


Program Note

The Crossing commissioned To the Hands as a response to Ad manus from Dieterich Buxtehude’s 17th century masterpiece, Membra Jesu Nostri. It is a part of the Seven Responses project and was performed by members of Te Crossing, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and the early music ensemble Quicksilver, alongside the complete Buxtehude and new works by six other composers.

The text that follows in the third movement is a riff on Emma Lazarus’ sonnet Te New Colossus, famous for its engraving at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Te poem’s lines “Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and its reference to the statue’s “beacon-hand” present a very different image of a hand — one that is open, beckoning, and strong. No wounds are to be found there — only comfort for those caught in a dangerous and complex environment.

About Caroline Shaw

Caroline Adelaide Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for…