Child's "Song of Liberty" reviewed in Boston Musical Intelligencer
Spectrum of Moods
Excerpt from review by Mark DeVoto
Review at The Boston Musical Intelligencer
A new choral work
Peter Child, composer and professor at MIT, a native of England but trained in America and long resident in Massachusetts, has given us a fine new choral work, "Song of Liberty: A Blake Cantata," for soloists, chorus, strings and percussion. It was premiered on Sunday afternoon in Kresge Auditorium by the MIT Concert Choir conducted by William Cutter.
Transparent and proportioned
A spectrum of moods ranges through the five pieces, first with a vibrant chorus (”Rintrah roars & shakes his fires”) in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: The Argument,” beginning with low strings and percussion and a steady 7/8 beat. “And on the barren heath / Sing the honey bees” brought forth a chromatic buzz of sul ponticello strings, and of course we were reminded of “And there came all manner of flies” in Handel’s Israel in Egypt. “Then the perilous path was planted” returned to the strong rhythms of the beginning, first in 8/8, then back to 7/8 again, heading for the ending when strings, drums, and glockenspiel are all in rhythmic unison....
Child’s new work is transparent and proportioned.... I will...recommend this handsome work as a challenge to choruses anywhere, as a bracing and inspired setting of inspiring texts, and one that is not excessively difficult or impractical to perform.
Full review at The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Professor of Music, MacVicar Faculty Fellow. Ph.D., Composition, Brandeis University; Composer-in-residence with the New England Philharmonic Orchestra.
Musicologist and composer; graduate of Harvard College and Princeton; published extensively on many music subjects, notably, music harmony