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We Are the Darkness in the Heat of the Day

(1956) (from The Heart of the Matter) SMezATB a cappella

By Benjamin Britten

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Chorus (SSATB choir a cappella)
(1956) (from The Heart of the Matter) SMezATB a cappella. Composed by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976). Edited by Colin Matthews. BH Secular Choral. Classical, Contemporary. 6 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M060105852. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48011791).

Item Number: HL.48011791

7x10.5 inches. Britten (ed. Matthews).

Song for five-part chorus (SMezATB) unaccompanied

Text: Edith Sitwell

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes

Difficulty level: 1-2

This short unaccompanied setting formed part of a programme of Edith Sitwell's verse put together for the Aldeburgh Festival in 1956. Britten had set her words to music in his Canticle III 'Still Falls the Rain'. After the performance Imogen Holst suggested to Britten that he might consider the setting of 'We are the darkness in the heat of the day' as a separate piece. She prepared the score for her Purcell Singers but it was never performed in Brittens lifetime.The short song is almost madrigalian in character, entirely homophonic (chordal) and leading to a beautiful and gentle conclusion. This is another of Britten's rarities which would add interest to a concert programme featuring his music or even recreating the spirit of that Aldeburgh programme around the poetry of Edith Sitwell - and perhaps others.

Duration: 2 minutes

Paul Spicer, Lichfield, 2011.

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