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Cello is the perfect instrument to showcase through this fascinating set of variations on a theme of universal unity. The celloâs range and tone evoke the baritone voice, and its facility in contrapuntal playing allows for polyphony in the manner of Bachâs cello suites. The theme (sounding like a spiritual) is actually the final chorus of the composerâs "Earthrise," a profoundly bold cantata using Schillerâs âOde to Joyâ as text, and full of allusions to all four movements of Beethovenâs ninth symphony. Hailstorkâs "Earthrise" features a festival chorus singing in German, alternating with an African-American chorus singing in English with vernacular verve. The choruses ultimately unite to end the cantata together with âDraw the Sacred Circle Closer,â a translation of lines from Schillerâs âOde to Joy.â For advanced cellists.