Words and Music by Dave Brubeck
SSAATTBB Chorus with optional piano
by Dave Brubeck
The idea for “Cross to Bear” was written on a napkin in 1988, then tossed into a drawer when I got home and forgotten. While in a recording session in 1994 I played the chorale as best as I could remember then added a swing section, and ended by playing the chorale twice, with different harmonization. It did not appear on the resulting CD. However, Phillip Rice, preparing for a concert and recording session with the Chattanooga Choral Arts, heard the tape and thought the piece would make a good gospel song if it were harmonized for voices the same manner as I had played it. In order to capture the essence of the swing section, I modulated up a fourth and wrote for double choir. Choir one is polytonal, singing open fourths swing style in five different keys, while choir two sings a circle of fifths progression on the beat. Chattanooga Choral Arts premiered the piece on May 16, 2002.
©Dave Brubeck Music
Sample Sheet Music