Conscience, op. 93A
About this work:
This work was composed in response to the events of 9/11. It is a setting of the poem "Conscience" by Lewis Allan, aka Abel Meeopol, the man who adopted the sons of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg. The poem first appeared in print in his 1969 collection, "The Eye of the Storm." I set it to music for voice and piano early in 1987, shortly after I heard it read at a memorial meeting for him in Dec. 1986. In 1988 I wrote a choral version, but in 2001 I orchestrated it, in response to a call for entries on the theme of 9/11 in the Sunrise/Sunset Composition Competition sponsored by the Brookhaven Arts Council. It won the contest, and was premiered with a chorus of 160 and an orchestra of 55, conducted by Martin Rutishauser at Bald Hill Amphitheatre in Farmingville, Long Island, NY July 13, 2002. I appeared at a videotaped program about choral music in America (with Gregg Smith, and others), in which I talked about the composition of the piece, and which was broadcast on cable TV. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus, which I founded in 1988, has performed the work accompanied and conducted by me from the piano, numerous times, and has recorded it commercially on Original Cast Recordings OC 6055, "The Abel Meeropol Centennial Concert." The original instrumentation for "Conscience," in 1987, was for voice and piano, and was recorded by Helene Williams with the composer at the piano on "Songs of Conscience," released as a cassette in 1991, as CD in 2003. In 1988 I made a version for mixed chorus, a cappella or with piano, with a solo mezzo at the beginning, and a duet for solo mezzo and solo tenor at the end. In 2002, I orchestrated the choral arrangement.
Year composed: 2001
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices:Chorus with Orchestra
Instrumentation: 2 Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 English Horn, 1 Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 4 Horn in F, 2 Trumpet, 2 Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Timpani, 1 Percussion (General), 1 Strings (General), ,1 Mezzo-Soprano soloist(s), ,1 Tenor soloist(s), 1 S, ,1 SS soloist(s), 1 A, 1 T,1 T soloist(s), 1 B
Instrumentation notes: Can be performed a cappella, with piano, or with orchestra. Perc = chimes; Fl. 2 doubles picc. Opening and closing solo best sung by mezzo or soprano, joined by tenor solo for the last four notes.