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The heavens declare : a choral symphony for large chorus and orchestra

by Paul Stanhope (1999)

heavens declare


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The heavens declare / Paul Stanhope.

Library shelf no. CD 720 [Available for loan]

heavens declare


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The heavens declare : a choral symphony for large chorus and orchestra / Paul Stanhope.

Library shelf no. 782.554/STA 4 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

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.

Work Details

Year: 1999

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.

First performance: by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra — 4 Nov 00. Sydney Opera House

Revised and re-orchestrated 2016


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