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The Jabberwocky

By Judith Shatin

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TTBB choir (a cappella) - moderately difficult
Composed by Judith Shatin (1949-). 21st Century. Octavo. Duration c. 4 minutes, 55 seconds. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #6977. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.6977).

Item Number: EC.6977

ISBN 600313469770. Text: Lewis Carroll.

"When the Virginia Glee Club at the University of Virginia approached me about commissioning a piece, I spent a great deal of time reading and thinking about potential texts. Some members of the Club made excellent suggestions. In the end, however, I chose Lewis Carroll's delightful poem, The Jabberwocky. In this time of trauma, I was drawn to the metaphorical slaying of the dragon. The Jabberwocky is an optimistic poem, with a perfect marriage of form and sound.

While many of us love this poem and know it by heart, fewer are aware that Carroll's poem is the source of words such as 'chortle' that have become part of our language. In the setting of the text, I have tried to capture the whimsy of the original, adding interludes of percussive nonsense syllables, rolled tongue roars, bellows and whistles. The use of the latter two play on the meaning of 'outgrabe,' defined in Through the Looking Glass as a cross between 'bellowing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle.' " - Judith Shatin.

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