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The Barbarian at the Gate

Helen Waddell

Choral Cantata

Choir: S(S)AT(T)B + 3 Trumpets

Catalogue Number: 




Year written: 


First performed:

Sunday, June 23, 2002

1. Lament for Troy, 2. Lament for Aquilea Destroyed, and Never to be Built Again, 3. On the Killing at Lindisfarne. Settings of three of Helen Waddell's haunting translations from medieval Latin, evoking the distant worlds of mythical Troy captured by the Greeks, Roman Aquilea destroyed by Attila the Hun and Saxon Lindisfarne invaded by marauding Vikings. I had clear pictures in mind when setting the poems, rather than accompanying the choir the trumpets represent a separate strand of the drama. In the first movement they represent the vanished Trojans, in the second Attila the Hun’s hordes and in the third, monks chanting. The work was premiered at the Chelsea Festival by FifteenB, conductor Paul Ayres, with members of the Philharmonia Brass Ensemble.

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