Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio


Oratorio for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass & boy treble, boys' choir, SATB chorus and orchestra
Chorus with Orchestra/Ensemble
Paul McCartney
3(II+III=picc).3(III=ca).3(II=Ebcl.III=bcl).3(III=cbsn) - 4.3(I=ptpt).3.1 - timp - perc(3): xyl/mar/vib/glsp/t.bells/tam-t/sleigh bells/bell tree/tgl/cyms/susp.cym/tamb/SD/TD/2 BD/timbale - organ - harp - strings

Commissioned by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society to celebrate its 150th anniversary

First Performance
28.6.91, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, UK: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus/Kiri Te Kanawa/Sally Burgess/Jerry Hadley/Willard White/Choristers of Liverpool Cathedral/Carl Davis

Vocal score 0-571-51280-1 on sale, full score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Paul McCartney Liverpool Oratorio Paul McCartney is the most successful popular composer of his generation. His Liverpool Oratorio is, however, his first venture into the classical idiom and was written in collaboration with composer Carl Davis, best known for his masterly television and film scores. Cast in the traditional oratorio form, the work has eight movements and lasts some 95 minutes. The text is Paul McCartney’s own. Its story draws on the events of his early life in Liverpool, the large port in the north of England which, with the emergence of The Beatles in the 1960’s, attracted world-wide attention as a centre of pop culture. McCartney’s birth in the city during wartime, his schooldays at the Liverpool Institute and youthful aspirations – these are the starting points for a work that poignantly and vividly articulates the hopes and joys and crises of life in the modern world. Liverpool Oratorio was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio' reviews

‘… a richly melodic, lavishly orchestrated piece about the loss and reclamation of innocence, love and faith … its most consistent influences are early-20th-century French music and English oratorio, but there are also echoes of Classical era string texture, late Romantic wind and brass scoring, and rhythmic figuration that calls to mind Leonard Bernstein’s theatre music. Character sketches within the work range even further afield, drawing on a Spanish folk melody and parodying a German drinki Read more

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