Commissioned jointly by the Serge Koussevitsky Foundation in the Library of Congress, with the approval of the Librarian of the Library of Congress, and the Koussevitsky Music Foundation, Inc., and by Boston Musica Viva.

  • 1(pic)010/0000/perc/pf/str(
  • Baritone
  • 28 min
  • Thea Musgrave, after Ambrose Bierce
  • English

Programme Note

Musgrave has described this work as follows: " I believe that war is a barbaric and primitive way of settling inevitable differences between nations and peoples, and these stories of Bierce show that, of all wars, civil war is perhaps the most devastating. He has an almost journalistic way of describing details of place and situation alongside wonderful poetic imagery; it is perhaps this style that gives his stories their evocative power. It is 1861 and as The Mocking-bird opens we see a soldier, Sergeant Grayrock, on picket duty. He is lost, and fearful that he is in fact lost behind enemy lines… and is bitter at this situation. [For him] the mocking-bird is a joyful memory of his earlier years, those golden days of his youth when life was happier.”