Sacrifices (for SATB chorus & orchestra or 2-piano accompaniment)

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Sacrifices (for SATB chorus & orchestra or 2-piano accompaniment)


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
32 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This work was written to commemorate the centenary of the 1914-1918 Great War and it is scored (in full) for baritone soloist, SATB chorus and orchestra (2122:4221: timp : harp : strings). A two-piano accompaniment is also available for smaller choral groups. The file displayed here is for voices and piano accompaniment, the latter being for rehearsal purposes only as it is an approximate transcription of the full orchestral score. The MP3 samples are of the full orchestral score, as follows : - "But Secretly We Thirst" bars 44-67 ; "The Dead" bars 241-278; "The Soldier" bars 279-298 ; "Rendezvous" bars 381-401 ; "Dulce et Decorum Est" bars 499-530 & 596-603 ; "In Flanders Fields" & "Worship" bars 730 - the end. (N.B. the download of these samples may take several seconds - please be patient.)

The poetry which forms the libretto is the work of the following poets - Herman Hesse, Rupert Brooke, Alan Seeger, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg and John McCrae. The ‘thread’ or ‘story’ of this musical offering seeks to describe and reflect (a) the patriotism and the appetite for adventure at the beginning of the war in 1914, (b) the subsequent despair and disillusionment after experiencing the horror of the war, and moving finally and inevitably to (c) the reason why we should still remember those who lost their lives during that conflict and, by extension, in the wars that have followed.

The message of this work contains a special significance or resonance for all those affected by any conflict or war, especially the current situation in Ukraine (February 2022). The ending of "Flanders Fields" has these words - "Take up our quarrel with the foe; To you, from failing hands, we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields."

The premiere performance of "Sacrifices", given by Ripon Choral Society on Saturday 15th November 2014 in Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire, under the direction of John Dunford, was hugely successful, with a standing ovation from a full house. Many in the audience and in the choir were moved to tears.

One year later, Tadchorale, of Tadcaster in Yorkshire, gave the first performances (three in Remembrance Week) of the version with two-piano accompaniment.

Wetherby Choral Society also gave a performance of this work, with orchestral accompaniment in Wetherby Parish Church in November 2016.

You can obtain a free copy of the libretto and a more detailed explanation of the work by contacting the composer using the email link at the bottom of this page.

If you’re planning a performance, rehearsal materials (full score and orchestral parts or, alternatively, double piano accompaniment) can be obtained by using the same email link.

To purchase this score, please add it to your cart above. To purchase music not currently available on Score Exchange or for extended license requests, please contact the publisher directly.

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