• Thea Musgrave
  • Voices of Power and Protest (2006)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

A dramatic concert work for unaccompanied chorus

  • SATB
  • 20 min

Programme Note

The composition of this work was begun at the end of June 2006: a few days later the conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah broke out and once again TV screens were filled with the horrors of war, - with destruction and tragic loss.

However the whole idea of this work was conceived way back in the 1970s. I had originally thought that I would use excerpts from existing poetry. But over the years it became clear I had to write my own words in order to convey the essential emotion for each section. The idea was to have a chorus enact with movement the dramatic essence of the work. They would take up different formations to emphasize the drama between crowd and individual….[a circle to surround the prisoner, a wall to divide the brothers and so on].

The main chorus acts as a "block", they are the crowd in contrast to the individual soloists who step out of the chorus to become The Recruit, The Husband, The Wife, The Coward, The Profiteer, The Orphan, and all together they become The Survivors. These soloists emerge from the crowd and "disappear" back into it.