If music has the power to help us snatch a measure of sanity from the jaws of catastrophic tragedy and the inevitable aftermath of sorrow, it’s pieces such as Aaron Jay Kernis’ Colored Field that can hasten the process. The 41-year-old American composer originally mapped out the composition, first performed in 1994, as a concerto for English horn and orchestra. Here it has been reworked for the cello, the sonorous singing voice of which plays against the orchestra’s accompaniment, alternately dazzling and disquieting. Kernis was inspired to create the piece’s first movement while visiting the death camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau; as he watched children chew blades of grass, he was shocked to realize that the ground they sat upon was once drenched with blood. He draws upon Eastern European Jewish music for source material; imagine Gershwin’s whimsy mated to Ives’ adventurism. It’s compelling stuff.