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Fire in the heavens : for children's choir a cappella

by Elliott Gyger (2003)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Gondwana Voices, Lyn Williams from the CD Choral music

Choral music


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Choral music : live recordings 1987-2004 / Elliott Gyger.

Library shelf no. CD 1518 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Fire in the heavens sets a text by the early 20th-century Australian poet Christopher Brennan, describing the oppressive power of the noonday sun in the Australian bush. The language is distinguished by great vividness and energy, qualities I have tried to reflect in my setting, which is comparably extreme in its use of word-painting. The choir is divided into three throughout, but with occasional further divisions, creating at times the effect of three different choirs. The most unusual feature of the piece is its exploration of consonant sounds, both percussive and sustained, as equal partners with the vowels in creating musical and expressive effects. The high level of intensity throughout the work perhaps partly reflects the circumstances of its composition, in an unusually cold and snowy Boston winter - while at the same time Sydney was ringed by bushfires.

Work Details

Year: 2003

Instrumentation: Children's choir (divided into 3 groups).

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Lyn Williams for performance by Gondwana Voices.

First performance: by Gondwana Voices, Lyn Williams — 25 Jan 03. City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney

Performances of this work

25 Jan 03: City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney. Featuring Gondwana Voices, Lyn Williams.

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