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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

The Last Twilight (1980)
commissioned by Anthony Branch and New Mexico D H Lawrence Festival
Text Writer
D H Lawrence
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
13 Minutes

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Programme Note
Thea Musgrave The Last Twilight (1980)

The Last Twilight is intended as a theatre work, however it may also be performed in concert version. It is written for large chorus divided into MAIN CHORUS (the white man); SEMICHORUS (the Indians); SUPERNUMERARIES (torchbearers); PENITENTES (a religious sect of flagellants from the Sangre de Christos mountains in New Mexico) and a GUNMAN

The stage can be decorated with plants from the high desert, sumac, juniper and so on. Downstage centre a campfire is laid with Navajo rugs around it. Semichorus, Penitentes and gunman should be in costume; main chorus and torchbearers should wear long black cloaks.

At the first performance in the Soleri Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the orchestra was seated on a bridge above the stage. The four trumpets on a still higher level, two on one side, two on the other. The percussion was in a balcony off the stairs leading down to the stage. In other theaters the orchestra can of course be seated very differently. But it is important to keep the stereophonic positioning of the trumpets.

Tubular bells (chimes) and a big bell to be played by chorus members should be preset upstage. One of the chorus has a small hand drum and another plays an Indian type rattle.

  • 12 MAR 1983
    The Last Twilight
    Nashville, US
    Hugh Ross, conductor
  • 05 MAR 1982
    The Last Twilight
    Cooper Union, New York
    Schola Cantorum of New York
    Hugh Ross, conductor
  • 04 MAR 1982
    The Last Twilight
    B.A.M., US
    Schola Cantorum of New York
    Hugh Ross, conductor
  • 20 JUL 1980
    The Last Twilight US Premiere
    The Last Twilight
    Soleri Theatre, New Mexico, US
    Santa Fe Chorus

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