Heartland : for large massed choir and two pianos
by Matthew Hindson (2001)
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Heartland is a work that was especially commissioned by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian choir for first performance on 15th April 2001, as part of a festival of combined Gay and Lesbian choirs from throughout Australia and New Zealand. There are a variety of texts that have been chosen for this piece. The title Heartland suggests a place to which you feel a great sense of attachment, as well where you most feel safe and secure - a "home". The introductory movement to this piece most literally details this sense of belonging, with a text by L.F. slowly incanted over an ever-shifting semi-improvisatory choral part. In contrast to this often-amorphous treatment, the next movement is declamatory, almost a call-to-arms. "Stand up and look at me, face to face, friend to friend", Sappho commands, though also implores "unfurl the loveliness in your eyes" and a tender "for you I will leave behind all that I love". A heartland need not be a place of exclusive happiness, it can also be a place where life's hardships and tribulations may have been encountered, such as watching the slow loss of a loved one. The middle movement of this work uses texts by Keats and the Book of Ruth to portray this sense of "heartland". However, it is often the sense of unabashed joy that may be associated most strongly with a heartland. The final movement certainly aims to portray that mood, using as its foundation a somewhat over-the-top text written by Christina Rosetti in 1859, as well as poems by Shelley and Adam Gordon. Matthew Hindson
Instrumentation: SSAATTBB choir, 2 pianos.
Duration: 19 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Choir: amateur, piano: amateur/professional.
Contents note: Introduction: Home -- I. Stand up -- II. A thing of beauty -- III. Did you miss me?
Texts by L.F., Sappho, Keats, Book of Ruth (Bible), Christina Rossetti, Adam Gordon and P.B. Shelley
Resonate article: Out, Proud and Loud by Sarah Penicka-Smith
Performances of this work
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