Theatre & Opera Magazine

6 Classical Music Pieces to Commemorate 9/11 - #5 One Sweet Morning by John Corigliano

Posted on the 07 September 2011 by Pinkall @pinkall
Yesterday, we had a song that everyone knows and sings. Today, as with every day this week, the next piece is from a totally different genre.
One Sweet Morning
Lyrics from E.Y. Harburg poem "One Sweet Morning"
Music by John Corigliano
Out of the fallen leaves the autumn world over, Out of the shattered rose that will smile no more, Out of the embers of blossoms and shades of clover Spring will bloom – one sweet morning. 
Out of the fallen lads the summer world over, Out of their flags plowed under a distant shore, Out of the dreams in their bones buried under the clover Peace will come – one sweet morning. 
"One sweet morning  The rose will rise To wake the heart And make it wise!"
This is the cry of life the winter world over,  “Sing me no sad amen, but a bright encore!” For out of the flags and the bones             buried under the clover,                         Spring will bloom                                     Peace will come                                                 One sweet morning –                                                              One sweet morning.
How was it influenced by September 11: This song, which will have it's premiere in a Mezzo/Orchestra arrangement later this month with the New York Philharmonic, was composed originally in 2006 for choir in remembrance of the attacks on September 11.  Here is a brief video describing the meaning of the piece.

What to listen for:  Yourself.  Of course follow the lyrics, which are abstractly appropriate to commemorate such an event, but here's what the composer himself said about the piece: "If I wrote a work that had meditative sections, but also dramatic and extroverted sections, then I would fall into a terrible trap. So many in the audience of this piece will have images of the frightful day itself — jetliners crashing into the World Trade Center, people jumping to their deaths from the top of the buildings, and the final collapse of the towers themselves — burned into their retinas. How can one hear music of any dramatic surges without imagining these events accompanying the music — or vice versa? Inevitably, the piece would become a tone poem of that unimaginable day — something I never intended and did not want. Yet how could I instruct the audience to ignore their own memories?"

Come back tomorrow to hear something truly interesting - you may not like it, but it sure will make you think differently about music: Steve Reich's WTC 9/11.

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