Simplify, simplify, op. 82 : SATB choir with chamber ensemble
by Andrew Schultz (2009)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
Performance by Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus, Brett Weymark from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 37.
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Library shelf no. CD 2494 [Available for loan]
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Simplify, Simplify is a choral setting of some inspired words of Henry David Thoreau that I have selected from his book, Walden.Walden, or Life in the Woods, which was first published in 1854 and is Thoreau's reflective account of his experiment in radical personal simplification. For two years he lived alone in the woods at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, in a cabin owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, in turn, caught the spirit of Thoreau's philosophical concerns and poetic writing style perfectly when he wrote in 1860: "We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its ends; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes." [Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life]
My work takes some of Thoreau's words and arranges them as a set of variations scored for choir accompanied by soprano saxophone, string quartet, percussion and piano. The work was commissioned in 2009 by the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus/Michelle Leonard. They gave Simplify, simplify its first performance in March 2010.
Instrumentation: SATB chorus (brief soprano solo parts for two sopranos from choir), soprano saxophone, 2 violins, viola, cello, percussion (one player - vibraphone, triangle, suspended cymbal, bass drum) and piano.
Duration: 11 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Amateur chorus plus about AMEB Grade 8 instrumentalists.
Commission note: Commissioned by Leichhardt Espresso Chorus.. for performance at the Moorambilla Festival 2009
A setting of words by Henry David Thoreau from his autobiography of escape and simplification of life Walden. Words selected and edited by the composer.
Performances of this work
25 Aug 2013: at Architecture of Sound : Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (Carriageworks). Featuring Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus, Brett Weymark.
24 Aug 2013: at Architecture of Sound : Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (Carriageworks). Featuring Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus, Brett Weymark.
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