SATB chorus and large orchestra
Chorus with Orchestra/Ensemble, Full Orchestra
from the 'Alleluia sequence', Anon, 10th century adapted by Julian Anderson
3(III=picc & afl).3(III=ca).3(III=bcl & cl in Eb).3(III=cbsn) - 4.3.2.btrbn.1 - perc(4): vib/glsp/whip(2)/t.bells(2)/large mar/steel drums/BD/3 susp.cym/2 siz.cym/2 tam-t/2 tgl - harp - pno - strings

Commissioned by the South Bank Centre for the Re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007

First Performance
11.6.07: Royal Festival Hall, London: London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus/Vladimir Jurowski

Full score, vocal score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

The opening of a new performing space – or in this case, a newly refurbished one – is always a cause for celebration and rejoicing. Initially this work was only going to set the word ‘alleluia’ repeatedly in many languages and dialects. Then my friend Bayan Northcott drew my attention to the extraordinary set of verses in Latin known as the ‘Alleluia Sequence’ in which all creation joins together in praise and jubilation. The word ‘Alleluia’ occurs at the end of every verse, so there was plenty of chance for me to set it in different ways. I did not wish simply to write an occasional piece, but to explore the many emotions of celebration in a variety of ways that would result in contrasting types of music, whether exuberant or meditative. Chorus and orchestra dialogue in the manner of a concerto, each having passages to themselves. Three musical sections are played without a break. First, a dense orchestral mist from which choral melodies reminiscent of plainsong emerge. Then a vigorous choral-orchestral dance, ending with a choral cadenza. Finally, the longest part - mainlys slow, which explores the word ‘Alleluia’ alone. Here the orchestra includes a number of unusual instruments such as steel drums. 

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