A Tree Telling of Orpheus – Carol Barnett

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SATB Score

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Composer: Carol Barnett

Text by: Denise Levertov

Instrumentation: SATB a cappella

Duration: Approx. 16 minutes

Date Written:  2010

Composer’s note: I first discovered “A Tree Telling of Orpheus” in the early ‘90s, and spent the next 20 years searching for an opportunity to set it – not an easy task given its length. Thanks to the generous spirit of C. Thomas Brooks and the Gordon College Music Department, this setting, a choral narrative of Orphic events from an arboreal point of view, finally came to life in 2010, and was revitalized in a new BorderCrosSing recording in 2023.

A couple of technical details: the altos should get their initial pitch in some way inaudible to the audience. And the “x” notation in mm. 179-218 is not Sprechstimme, but rather a stylized chanting of the text; the varying positions of the “x”s are to guide inflection and intensity, not pitch.
– Carol Barnett


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