British composer Ken Burton was drawn to the poetry of 18th-century slave and writer Phyllis Wheatley for his piece Descend to Earth. The dual troubles of pandemic and racial oppression in 2020 resonate with Wheatley’s concise poem, the start of which recalls the Christmas/Holiday season. Written for SSAATTBB unaccompanied choir plus baritone solo, Descend to Earth will have a place in many programs with varied themes. It was commissioned by VOCES8 for their LIVE From London festival in 2020 and premiered by them with baritone Roderick Williams.
Descend to Earth (Mixed Voices)