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‘The Great Art War’, Three Songs From

for SATB choir, violin and piano

Year:  2013   ·  Duration:  8m 30s

Year:  2013
Duration:  8m 30s

Composer:   Philip Norman

Films, Audio & Samples

Philip Norman: The Great Ar...

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Sample Score

Sample: first page of each song

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The Great Art War stage musical tells the true story of the conflict that erupted when Frances Hodgkins' 'shockingly' modern painting 'The Pleasure Garden' was gifted to the Christchurch Art Gallery. A civic, then nationwide, battle broke out between the conservative 'minders of good taste' and the progressives pushing for change. The first of these extracted songs 'What's the point of modern art?' helps define the clash. The second song, 'The Pleasure Zone' brings some insight into the creative process, and the third song 'Thank you God (for overseas)' highlights New Zealanders' genuflection to overseas opinion in the arts in the mid-20th century. Some might say this is still the case.

Commissioned note

The Great Art War stage musical was commissioned by the Christchurch Arts and Heritage Trust in 2011 with funding from Creative New Zealand for a joint Court Theatre and Christchurch Arts Festival production. The three songs were extracted from The Great Art War for performance by the Jubilate Singers in Philip Norman's choral retrospective concert 30/10/2022 at The Piano, Christchurch.

Difficulty note

Suitable for an able choir with a sense of humour and an interest in art.

Contents note

  1. What's the point of modern art?
  2. The pleasure Zone
  3. Thank you God (for overseas)

Text note

1 and 2 © 2013 Philip Norman and Stuart Hoar, 3 © Philip Norman