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⇒ 6 more: 2. Chorus: What passion cannot music raise and quell • 3. Soprano solo: The soft complaining flute • 4. Chorus: Sharp violins proclaim • 5. Baritone solo: But Oh! what art can teach • 6. Soprano & Baritone duet: Orpheus could lead the savage race • 7. Grand Chorus: As from the pow’r of sacred lays
|Work Title||A Song for St. Cecilia's Day|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IVF 64|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||1985|
|First Performance.||1985-10-25 in Burlington, Vermont; Bennington College and University of Vermont choruses, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vivian Fine, conducting|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||26 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Instrumentation||soprano and baritone soloists, mixed chorus, string orchestra, and two trumpets|
Commissioned by Trinity College, Burlington, Vermont, in honor of its 60th anniversary, with a grant from the Vermont Council for the Arts.
Though the structure of the piece resembles a Handel oratorio, the music is not related to Handel’s famous setting of the Dryden text—Fine deliberately did not familiarize herself with that piece, although she acknowledges Handel in a couple of brief quotes and in a gentle spoof (in section 2) of his text-settings. The work begins with a transcendent setting of the opening lines, “From harmony, from heavenly harmony, this universal frame began.” Moods of reverence, humor, and drama alternate throughout the piece. The closing section recasts the opening chorus for Dryden’s triumphant final stanza.
Fine has written a piece of enduring impact. The lyrics have lasted 298 years and the music might be good for at least that period. Fine writes thoughtfully for voices yet with an appreciation of the origin of the words….The writing for instruments was supportive and the trumpet fanfare glorious.