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Richard Blackford: Pietà (Vocal Score) for Mezzo Soprano and Baritone Soli, Mixed Chorus, Optional Children's Chorus & Orchestra

NMP1066
£29.99

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At the core of Blackford’s work is a setting of the Stabat Mater; but it also includes settings of two relevant poems by the celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova from her poem cycle Requiem. The poems echo the words in Stabat Mater reflecting the grief of a mother for her son Lev, a student at Leningrad University, who, in 1938, at the height of Stalin’s terror, was arrested in his dormitory room and shipped to an Arctic labour camp. For 17 months his mother waited in queues and wrote letters to police officials beseeching them to tell her the fate of her son. Her struggle is immortalised in “Requiem”, her most famous work. Alternating between elegy, lamentation and witness, it culminates in its most famous stanza:

For seventeen months I’ve been crying out,

Calling you home.

I flung myself at the hangman’s feet,

For you my son, my horror.

The music embraces the passion of these words. After our recent workshop when the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus studied the work for the first time, conductor Gavin Carr wrote: “It is so compact, and so powerful: the intensity is incredible, and the release at the end is remarkable.” - Sandrey Date

Richard Blackford: Pietà (Vocal Score) for Mezzo Soprano and Baritone Soli, Mixed Chorus, Optional Children's Chorus & Orchestra

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