Healing the Planet, orchestral version

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This is a Cantata for SATB choir, soprano, tenor and bass soloists, trumpet and percussion solos and orchestra. The original version was written in 2010/11 for the same forces except for organ instead of orchestra. The current version was orchestrated in 2018. It is in four movements and last just over 20 minutes.

My purpose for writing this Cantata was to look at the questions about the environment, climate change, etc. from a spiritual perspective. I wrote most of the words as well as quoting from the writings of the Persian mystic ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbás Effendi and His grandson, Shoghi Effendi. The four movements are:

1. State of Crisis, a dialogue between the soprano and chorus highlighting the problems that mankind is causing the planet and recognising that it must be healed. 2. Change of Heart opens with quotes from Shoghi Effendi, sung by the tenor soloist, that show how we need to reframe our conceptions, in particular, not to segregate the human heart from the environment. The chorus reacts and discusses the quotes. 3. Spiritual Revelation opens with a quote from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, sung by the bass soloist, showing how the human heart should change. Again the chorus reacts to this and the soprano tries to bring understanding to the minds of the people. 4. Vision of the Future is a setting of a quote from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá about how He sees the future for the planet, once mankind has understood and acted. Choir and soloists join in a united voice.

The work as a whole is very dramatic, and presents the conflict between human behaviour and both scientific and religious teachings. The two solo instruments and orchestra are not mere accompaniments, but add much colour and drama to the text settings.

Score ID
Year of composition
Malcolm Dedman
Difficult (Grades 7+)
21 minutes
Choir + orchestra
Modern classical music

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