Sacred text in English by Emma Lazarus
Duration: three minutes
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3
Also in my treble
catalog as the second movement of Rise Up, Emma Lazarus,
premiered March 14, 2003 by The New York Treble Singers,
New York City, directed by Virginia Davidson.
Winner of the 2003 New
York Treble Singers Composition Competition
SATB version of this piece has not yet been premiered.
Please contact me if you are interested in premiering this
I originally wrote this piece specifically
for the New York Treble Singers 2003 composition
competition, for which it won first prize (it was the second
movement of the SSSAAA piece I call Rise up, Emma Lazarus,
as both texts are by Lazarus). Recently I decided to recast
this movement for SATB choir and I think the results are
quite strong. The piece is very energetic and reminds me of
some of Randall Thompsonís uptempo choral music, especially
its use of large multiple blocks of choral harmony moving in
and out of parallel and contrary motions.
Complete perusal score available upon request.
What, can these dead
bones live, whose sap is dried
By twenty scorching
centuries of wrong?
Is this the House of
Israel, whose pride
Is as a tale thatís told,
an ancient song?
Are these ignoble relics
all that live
Of psalmist, priest, and
Can the breath of very
heaven bid these bones revive,
Open the graves and
clothe the ribs of death?
Yea, prophesy, the Lord
Again say top the wind,
come forth and breathe afresh,