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This piece sets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Singers. The text tells of God sending to Earth three singers to 'touch the hearts of men'. The first played the 'music of our dreams' in groves and by streams, while the second sang in the market place to crowds. The third sang in the cathedrals. However there arose disputes as to which was the best, for the music seemed to cause discord to arise in the hearts of those who heard it.
The 'great Master' answered that there was no best singer, but simply differences in degree - they had three gifts to offer '...to charm, to strengthen, and to teach'. Those who listen need to have their ears 'tuned aright' to hear only 'perfect harmony'.
The Singers was awarded 2nd place, the Chorus Director's Prize, in the 2007 Longfellow Chorus Composers' Contest (USA).
Text from The Singers by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow