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When soft voices die

Sheet Music: Score

When soft voices die : choir and cor anglais / Mary Finsterer.

by Mary Finsterer and Percy Bysshe Shelley (2014)


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This work began as one movement of a larger work- a Mass. My intention was to compose the first sung prayer in the Order, that being a Kyrie, but the sudden death of a dear friend, a young, single mother of two children, turned my attention to the fragility and transience of life. The passing of someone so vital in themselves and to the lives of others is one of those agonising tragedies that music and faith seem inadequate to console or honour. However, the magnitude of this situation called for a response.

"When soft voices die" is an elegy that has its roots in music for a spiritual occasion. Having in recent years spent much time investigating early music, the language is reminiscent of Renaissance tonality. Without ornamentation, the style aims for restraint and reflection. The text has been adapted from three poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley- Music when Soft Voices Die, A Fragment: To Music and A Lament.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (13p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 7 min.

Dedication note: Dedicated to the memory of Tamsin Cowling

Commissioned by Sydney Chamber Choir, Paul Stanhope.

First performance by Sydney Chamber Choir, Richard Gill at Fauré's Requiem + Finsterer (City Recital Hall) on 12 Apr 2014

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720169-37-8

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