In Boston, the Handel and Haydn Society’s “Crossing the Deep” program featured the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus and Orchestra, conductor Anthony Trecek-King, and spoken word artist Regie Gibson, along with solo vocalists. Photo by Sam Brewer.

In Friday’s (6/2) Boston Globe, A.Z. Madonna writes, “ ‘Crossing the Deep,’ the final concert of the Handel and Haydn Society’s 2022-23 season … promised a juxtaposition of Handel’s ‘Chandos Anthems’ and Black American spirituals…. The ‘deep’ evokes the stylistic divide between Handel’s florid Anglican anthems and the orally transmitted spirituals; the River Jordan; the Atlantic Ocean across which so many enslaved Africans were forcibly transported; the intangible border between life and death; the tangible borders between bondage and freedom…. ‘Crossing the Deep’ asked listeners to sit back and reflect. ‘Crossing the Deep,’ which was officially described as an ‘immersive choral drama,’ is a co-creation of H+H resident choral conductor Anthony Trecek-King and programming consultant and countertenor Reginald Mobley…. H+H was exploring the possibility that Handel, one of the bedrocks of its repertoire, had held investments in trans-Atlantic trading companies that participated in and profited from the sale of enslaved Africans….The Handel selections, accompanied by a pocket-size chamber orchestra, were characteristically vibrant, which was all the more haunting in the concert’s context. Trecek-King intentionally selected less-well-known spirituals, and many of their lyrics echoed the words in the anthems … There should be next performances and then some.”