Musgrave: "Voices of Power and Protest"

Musgrave: "Voices of Power and Protest"
A dramatic work for unaccompanied chorus. First conceived in the 1970's and subsequently put on hold. Resurrected again in June 2006, when the Israeli and Hezbollah conflict erupted, filling our television screens and newspapers with the horrors of war and tragic loss.

To war!
There will be war.
The rigor of war is nigh; inexorable, demanding;
There will be war!
Sacrifices must be made. You must obey.
There will be no justice
There will be no pity.
No tears!

— Thea MusgraveSuch is the impetus behind Thea Musgrave's choral work Voices of Power and Protest, which receives its world premiere on 26 March by Harold Rosenbaum and the New York Virtuoso Singers.

Musgrave originally planned to use existing poetry for the texts; but, she came to realize that she must write her own words in order to convey the essential emotions of the work. Voices of Power and Protest features the singers as a physical entity, and in following that concept, the ensemble takes on various staged formations to underscore Musgrave's drama. Throughout the piece, the main chorus is a "block" and stands in contrast to individual soloists who step out of the chorus to become assorted characters: The Recruit, The Husband, The Wife, The Coward, The Profiteer, and The Orphan. Together, the soloists become The Survivors. Once they have performed, the soloists "disappear," returning once again to the ensemble. The work ends as the complete ensemble sings, "We have all, all of us lost."

     Voices of Power and Protest
     Duration: 20'
     SATB Chorus

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