The heavens declare : a choral symphony for large chorus and orchestra
by Paul Stanhope (1999)
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The Heavens Declare is a compact Choral Symphony, setting of four Old Testament texts in their Latin translations: a section from the creation story in Genesis (which I imagined as a dreamtime story), two joyful Psalm excerpts and a more angst-ridden passage from the book of Job. These form a five-part arch structure in a single continuous movement which begins with creation and ends not with the end, but with a single word "luninaria" which translates as "lights", suggesting that creation is an ongoing process.
Instrumentation: Large SATB chorus, 3 flutes (3rd flute doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd oboe doubling cor anglais), 3 clarinets in B flat (2nd clarinet doubling E flat cl, 3rd clarinet doubling bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd bassoon doubling contrabassoon), 4 French horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (4 players), harp, piano/celesta, strings.
Duration: 18 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional/good standard amateur.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Peter Sculthorpe
Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.. 2016 revision commissioned by Juliet Tootel for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Revised and re-orchestrated 2016
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 Brett Weymark, Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus.
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