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And Music's Power Obey

for SATB choir, piano and organ

Year:  2010

Year:  2010

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton


The title is a line from John Dryden’s Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day and comes from the end of the first stanza, the second half of which runs as follows:

The tuneful Voice, was heard from high,
Arise! Arise!
Arise ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
In order to their stations leap!
And music’s power obey!
And music’s power obey!

The text of the work is a set of three poems about music, speaking in turn about its personal importance and effect, its use as a lullaby, and its magical and healing properties. The first text is by American poet and writer Marnie McGee who is best known for her children’s books. The second text is by Clemens Brentano, and early nineteenth century German writer of poetry and short stories, who spent much of his later life promoting the Catholic faith. The final text is a sonnet by American poet Elizabeth Bishop who won amongst many awards a Pulitzer Prize, and during 1949-1950 the USA’s poet laureate before spending fifteen years living in Brazil.

Text note

Text by Marni McGee, Clemens Brentano and Elizabeth Bishop