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James Whitbourn

Publisher: Chester Music

The Wounds (2013)
Text Writer
Michael Symmons Roberts
Chester Music Ltd
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
28 Minutes
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Programme Note
James Whitbourn The Wounds (2013)
'The Wounds' is intended as a devotional work and is best heard in the context of a liturgical event in - or close to - Passiontide. Each section continues from the previous one without pause to create a seamless whole.

The focus of the work is on the words - whether sung of spoken - so clarity of the words should be uppermost in the performers' mind. Those sections that are chant-like in quality should be sung with a natural speech rhythm as the guiding force, so that the sense of the biblical text is always clear. In common with much Passiontide music, the scoring is sparse and austere.

The positioning and timing of the chord sequence that accompanies the spoken meditations is intended only as a guide. The reader should deliver the meditations without reference to the chords following the text, but should not be worried if the placing of them does not exactly match the positions shown in the score, provided they end at the correct time. The chords should sound unhurried and unobtrusive. It is recommended that the reader uses the text at the end of the score, rather than the musical score, to deliver the meditations, although the latter will be useful for understanding context and cues. The conductor and reader should devise a suitable system in rehearsal for beginning the meditations. Only in the final prayer should the reader take the timing from the music, as it is important that the prayer is concluded before the final Amen is sung.

(James Whitbourn, 2007)

Its minimal carefully calculated to give the most colourful instrumental palatte with the fewest performers...The honesty and directness of the presentation of music and words is seriously appealing.
Jeremy Summerly, Choir and Organ,01/01/2015
The music illuminates the text without competing for attention with it, and this is a strength of the work in that the text by Roberts is powerful.
Jason Overall, The Journal,01/01/2015
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