At the Fountain - No. 4 of Four American Choruses


by Julian Anderson

unaccompanied SATB chorus
Mixed Voices
At the Fountain by P.P. Bliss
Commissioned by the CBSO
First Performance
31.1.2004, Symphony Hall, Birmingham: CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey

Score 0-571-53213-6 on sale

Programme Notes
This has perhaps the most unusual text of the Four American Choruses. Sankey’s hymn book explains that the fountain concerned was originally a central display at the Chicago Industrial Exhibition, which became a frequent meeting place for social gatherings. The author of the text chose to reinterpret the then frequently-heard phrase ‘Will you meet me at the fountain?’ in a more spiritual light. I have followed the author’s lead, setting the words in a more intimate style than the preceding choruses. Towards the middle, the music takes on elements of a blues, with the chorus functioning increasingly as a close harmony backing-group to more florid solo lines and this remains a prominent feature to the end of the work.

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