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Julia Wolfe

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Fire in my mouth (2018)
'Fire in my mouth' was commissioned by The New York Philharmonic (Jaap van Zweden, Music Director), Cal Performances at the University of California Berkeley, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This commission is made possible with generous support from Linda and Stuart Nelson.
Work Notes
Some restrictions apply.
Red Poppy
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
1 Hour 0 Minutes
Women's Choir (amplified), Girls' Choir
Unavailable Explain this...
Programme Note
Julia Wolfe Fire in my mouth (2018)

I. Immigration
II. Factory
III. Protest
IV. Fire

...the power of Wolfe’s music came not from anything on the surface, but the near-subliminal morphing that comes with accomplished minimalism. Changes have a before-you-know-it quality that have such an interior effect that you feel like you’re part of the narrative, if only because you feel it in your gut more than in your head. You’re in the middle of the landscape and are never quite sure if it’s changed or if you’ve just noticed something different about it.
David Patrick Stearns, Condemned to Music,30/01/2019
Fire in my mouth is a feisty protest that overwhelms with its assertion. It is an uncompromising achievement.
Xenia Hanusiak, Classical Voice North America,28/01/2019
Wolfe musters her enormous forces with skill and imagination.... Wolfe’s bravura writing, always smart, never sentimental, and demonstrating that the musically complex can also be comprehensibly approachable.
Clive Paget, Musical America Worldwide,28/01/2019
Watching Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth tonight felt to me like being part of history. It is an astonishing and important piece. Wolfe’s greatest accomplishment here is her mastery of gesture — the ideas are always surprising but always clear, and without exception she carries every idea to its natural conclusion and then lets it go.... Throughout the piece, she wields her compositional command with a majestic confidence.
Jason Robert Brown,,25/01/2019
Ms. Wolfe inventively juxtaposes a plaintive Yiddish folk song with a lively Italian tarantella-like piece. The way these songs are embedded in Ms. Wolfe’s agitated, heaving orchestra, they seem like alternative coping mechanisms for the oppressed. ...the choral refrains and orchestra layers built into piercing harmonies, like clusters out of Ives or Varèse, yet driven by Ms. Wolfe’s Minimalism-influenced rhythms.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times,25/01/2019
Like the other two pieces in Wolfe’s trilogy about American labor history (Steel Hammer and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields), Fire in my mouth makes its impact with massed voices expressing hope and pain against the din of industry.
Oussama Zahr, The New Yorker,18/01/2019
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