Sir Harrison Birtwistle: The Fields of Sorrow

Sir Harrison Birtwistle The Fields of Sorrow
The Fields of Sorrow

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: The Fields of Sorrow

Year of composition:
1971/1972
Scored for:
for 2 sopranos, 8-part choir and instruments
Composer:
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Text author:
Ausonius
Original language:
Latin
Translator:
Helen Waddell
Choir:
SATB
Soloists:
soprano
Instrumentation:
fl(3), c.a(3), bass cl(3), bsn(3), hn, vib, pno(2)
Instrumentation details:
3 fl, 3 c.a, 3 bass cl(Bb), 3 bs, hr, vib, 2 pno
Commission:
Commissioned by Dartington Summer School of Music
Duration:
9’
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Audiosamples

The Fields of Sorrow
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Work introduction

This work is a setting of a Latin poem by Decimus Ausonius (310-393). It has the atmosphere of an ancient ritual, its sound dominated by two pianos. The onstage positioning is important; the winds sit in front of the conductor, the two pianos and the vibraphone behind them, the mixed chorus is upstage and the two sopranos stand separate at the very back.

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World première

Location:
Dartington
Date:
07.08.1971
Orchestra:
Student ensemble
Conductor:
Harrison Birtwistle

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