Hancock Shaker Village (2001) for mezzo-soprano and string quartet.

Thomas Oboe Lee

About this work:

Commissioned by Peter and mary Rentz for the Hancock Shaker Village.

First of all, my enormous gratitude to Deborah Leath Rentz for the source material: "Songs and the Spirit: Hancock Shaker Village's Musical Legacy, Volume I. Transcriptions of Hancock Hymnal : 1850."

In 1997, Mark Ludwig commissioned me to write a work based on a Shaker song. Ms. Rentz provided me with a lovely song, "Grateful Remembrance," from her collection. The result was "SEPTET: Variations on a Shaker Tune."

"Hancock Shaker Village" is in many ways also a set of variations. It begins with a Prelude of my own devising. For the rest of the work I chose five songs from Ms. Rentz's book which provide a glimpse of a typical day for the inhabitants of this religious community.

The first song, Pillar of Fire, greets the dawn and the rising sun.

The second song, Glean with Care, is about the orchards and the gardens.

The third, Sweet Home, is about the religious life and home.

The fourth, Quick, a lively dance number, prays for God's power and grace.

The last song, Farewell Dear Crossbearers, is for the dearly departed.

The work is played continuously without pause between movements and is dedicated to Mark Ludwig, Deborah Leath Rentz and the Hancock Shaker Village.

Year composed: 2001
Duration: 00:19:00
Ensemble type: Unspecified Instrument(s):Ensemble
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Mezzo-Soprano

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