Concert Suite from Sophie's Choice


by Nicholas Maw

orchestra with optional mezzo-soprano
Full Orchestra, Mezzo-soprano, Solo Voices with Orchestra
3 (III=picc).3 (III=ca).3(III=Ebcl).3(III=cbsn) - - timp - perc - harp - strings
First Performance
24.4.04, Peabody Institute, Baltimore, USA: Peabody Concert Orchestra/Hajime Teri Murai

Full score 0-571-52238-6 for sale and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Nicholas Maw’s opera Sophie’s Choice, based on the novel of the same name by William Styron, received its world premiere at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on December 7, 2002, to great critical acclaim. Maw has created a Concert Suite from “Sophie’s Choice,” a 22-minute work for large orchestra deriving from the opera. This was given its world premiere by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hajime Teri Murai, at The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore on Saturday, April 24, 2004. Nicholas Maw is a member of the school’s composition faculty. “The contents of the Concert Suite,” says Maw, “are for the most part the purely orchestral interludes from the opera. I have included a version of the opera’s Prelude and the Epilogue which contain some of the same music. In the opera, the Prelude and the Epilogue are both sung by a character called The Narrator. In the Concert Suite, I have taken the voice part out and somewhat re-arranged the music. The musical elements in the Concert Suite are not in the same order as in the opera. I hope I have arranged them in a way that makes a satisfactory orchestral suite and gives it a sense of form.”

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News & Reviews

'Concert Suite from Sophie's Choice' reviews

'From the prayerful string chords at the start to the soft, high, slowly evaporating notes at the end, the suite serves up considerable tension and emotion in a richly textured musical language. If you knew nothing about the William Styron novel that inspired the opera, you could still sense the pain, love and cruelty that drive the story.' The Sun (Tim Smith), 26 April 2004 Read more

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