Home > Choir + orchestra > Sacrifices (for SATB chorus & orchestra or 2-piano accompaniment)

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

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
32 minutes
Modern classical music
Choir + orchestra
Instrumental parts
Not available

This work commemorates the centenary of the 1914-1918 Great War and it’s 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 of the work comes from 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, (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 premiere performance, given by the Ripon Choral Society on Saturday 15th November 2014 in Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire, under the direction of John Dunford, was hugely successful. Many in the audience and in the choir were moved to tears.

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

The 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.

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This score was submitted by Patrick J. Lee. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

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