We Clasp the Hands – Carol Barnett

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SSA Score

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Composer: Carol Barnett

Text by: Wendell Berry

Instrumentation: SSA and piano

Duration: Approx. 4 minutes

Date Written:  2016

Composer’s note: Ancestors and descendants, friends and lovers, all creatures, moving in and out of life in a dance, “to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in fragments” – the piano keeps the beat, the voices weave in and out in a joyful three-voice texture.

We Clasp the Hands was written for the Aurora Chorus of Portland, Oregon, to celebrate the group as a welcoming and empowering community as well as marking their 25th Anniversary. I am indebted to Artistic Director Joan Szymko for finding the perfect text, excerpted from Wendell Berry’s poetic essay “Healing,” found in his volume What Are People For?

– Carol Barnett


…we clasp the hands of those who go before us,
and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
and the larger circle of lovers
whose hands are joined in a dance,
and the larger circle of all creatures,
passing in and out of life,
who move also in a dance,
to a music so subtle and vast
that no ear hears it
except in fragments.

Copyright © 2010 by Wendell Berry, from What Are People For?
 Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint

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