In the bleak mid-winter sets a compressed version of Christina Rossetti's popular 1872 Christmastime poem. In adapting the original text, I felt it necessary to remove much of its stock Victorian Christmas imagery in order to heighten the poem's sense of fervent expectation, of a world in dire need of deliverance and individual sacrifice. The music is composed mainly of stark, open intervals, against which a folk-like melody weaves gentle dissonances. The two central verses are chorales set at extreme dynamic levels, contrasting a hushed, trembling anticipation with the joy of salvation.
© Matthew Whittall (2008) Instrumentation
chx, sopr solo [SSATBB] Category
Vocal and Choral Works Language
Hämäläis-Osakunnan Laulajat, cond. Esko Kallio, Helsinki, December 14, 2007.
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