SPIRITUALS, a Chamber Symphony for Ten Players (2004) Op.68

Opus number: 68

Title: Spirituals, a chamber symphony for ten players

Commissioned: Max Lifchitz

Dedication: to Max Lifchitz in celebration of 25 years of North/South Consonance

Instrumentation: String quintet, (2 vlns., Vla., cello, Db.) Woodwind quintet (fl., cl., ob., bassoon, and French horn)

Date written: May 2004

Length: ca. 20 minutes

Premiere performance: March 13, 2005 Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, New York, NY; The North/South Chamber Orchestra, Max Lifchitz, conductor.

Important subsequent performance:

Program notes: Spirituals –a chamber smphony for ten players – was completd in the spring of 2004 and was commissioned by Max Lifchitz in celebration of the 25h anniversary of North/South Consonance. The form of the work is much like that of a chorale prelude. Its character remsembles my other music in its attempt to speak to a universal truth through the evocation of a specific time and place.

The first movement is based on I love to tell the Story; the second on Fairest Lord Jesus; and the third is based on There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy.

Each of these hymns is referred to in Romulus Linney’s play Holy Ghosts. The play, which takes place in rural North Carolina among a group of Pentecostals was as much an inspiration when I reread it last year as it was when I saw its premiere at East Carolina University in 1971.

Reviews: (performances) (recordings)

Excerpt: (Coming soon!)