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Tarik O'Regan

Publisher: Novello & Co

Triptych (2005)
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
17 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration
SATB; Percussion Ensemble (8 players), SATB; str septet, SSA; str

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Programme Note
Tarik O'Regan Triptych (2005)
Triptych represents the concatenation and re-orchestration of two extant works. Movement I was commissioned with funds from The RVW Trust for the inaugural concert of the Choir of London conducted by Jeremy Summerly in Christ Church, Spitalfields on 18th December, 2004; the work, premièred as Threnody, was subsequently toured by the Choir to Jerusalem and the West Bank from 19th-26th December, 2004. Movements II and III, commissioned by Portsmouth Grammar School with financial support from the PRS Foundation, were premièred as And There Was a Great Calm in a contiguous version for lower strings and upper voices by the Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir and the London Mozart Players in a concert at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral on 13th November, 2005 conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu. The title of this latter section is taken from Thomas Hardy’s poem of the same name, written at the signing of the Armistice on 11th November, 1918; a couplet from which is set, in a moment of tranquillity, in the final movement.

Relatively new to living in New York, I am much more aware of the independent, vibrant cultural plurality that exists today; it’s probably the single most dazzling facet of the City and is largely responsible for the infamous ‘edginess’ that pervades daily life there. With this in mind, I set to work on Threnody (movement I here) in 2004; I wanted to write something that was relevant to the Israeli/Palestinian issue without losing that City ‘edge’. The texts, in English, are excerpted from a variety of sources: William Penn, William Blake, the Psalms of David and Muhammad Rajab Al-Bayoumi, an Egyptian poet of the early twentieth-century. Fast and rhythmically influenced by the music of North Africa in its syncopations, this movement was the first composition that evolved entirely from my New York perspective.

From the moment that the commission for And There Was a Great Calm (movements II & III here) was offered, I knew the piece I was about to embark upon would end up being linked with Threnody in some way. I realized that what I had been aiming for in Threnody served as a template for this new piece, originally composed for a Remembrance Sunday concert. Musical works connected with commemoration or memorials are often suitably pensive and slow; I wanted to start with that concept, but to bring in some of the relentless urban rhythms that had been such a large influence on my life in the preceding two years. The result is that that the second movement is quiet and gentle (a moment of recollection), while the final movement is much faster and vibrant, returning to a more openly elated rendering of the start of Triptych (the texts here dealing with transmigration and the future).

I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Bruce Ruben and Judith Clurman, as well as that of my parents, with the collation of the texts.

Tarik O’Regan
New York, February 2006

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    Craig Hella Johnson
    Harmonia Mundi USA:
  • 22 FEB 2016
    Montreal, Canada
    Schulich School Singers
    Jean-Sébastien Vallée, conductor
  • 02 DEC 2015
    Berea, OH
    Baldwin Wallace University
    Jordan Saul, conductor
  • 15 NOV 2015
    Carnegie Hall, NY
    Distinguished Concerts International New York
    Robert Istad, conductor
  • 15 NOV 2015
    Waterloo, IA
    Metropolitan Chorale of Waterloo
    Amy Kotsonis, conductor
  • 15 NOV 2015
    Cedar Valley Community Church, Iowa, US
    The Metropolitan Chorale
  • 14 NOV 2015
    Laeiszhalle Hamburg
    Franz-Schubert-Chor Hamburg / Neue Philharmonie Hamburg
    Karloa Pavone, soprano; Lars Grünwoldt, baritone; Christiane Hrasky, conductor
  • 01 NOV 2015
    Hawkesburg, ON, Canada
    St. Matthias Church
  • 25 OCT 2015
    Joy Fantasy and Remembrance: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
    Long Beach City College Auditorium, CA
    Long Beach Camerata Singers
    Robert Istad, conductor
  • 25 OCT 2015
    Long Beach, CA
    Long Beach Camerata Singers
    Rob Istad, conductor
  • 25 OCT 2015
    Long Beach City College Auditorium, CA, US
    Long Beach Camerata Singers
    Robert Istad, conductor
  • 24 OCT 2015
    Fullerton, CA
    CSUF Orchestra and chorus
    Kimo Furumoto, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 November - Fullerton, CA
  • 30 AUG 2015
    Countless and Wonderful are the Ways to Praise God
    St Andrew's Church, Presteigne
    The Choir of Royal Holloway / Presteigne Festival Orchestra
    George Vass, conductor
  • 30 AUG 2015
    Presteigne Festival 2015
    St. Andrew's Church, Presteigne, UK
    Choir of Royal Holloway, Presteigne Festival Orchestra
    Gillian keith, soprano; George Vass, conductor
  • 30 AUG 2015
    St. Andrew's Church, Presteigne, Wales
    The Choir of Royal Holloway / Presteigne Festival Orchestra
    George Vass, conductor
  • 16 MAY 2015
    Melle, Germany
    Percussion Ensemble der Hochschule Osnabrück
    Lutermann, Stephan, conductor
  • 16 MAY 2015
    Melle, Germany
    Percussionensemble der Hochschule Osnabrück, Vocalconsort Osnabrück
    Stephan Lutermann, conductor
  • 03 MAY 2015
    St. Joseph's Church, 174 Wilbrod St., Ottawa
    Amy Henderson, conductor
  • 03 MAY 2015
    Loudis Recital Hall, University of Delaware
    University of Delaware Schola Cantorum
    Paul Head, conductor
  • 05 DEC 2014
    Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, California
    Pomona College
    Donna M. Di Grazia, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7 December - Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, Claremont, California
  • 12 NOV 2014
    Royal Holloway Chapel, Egham
    Royal Holloway Chorus
    Rupert Gough, conductor
  • 08 NOV 2014
    St. Mary's Cathedral, Portland
    Portland Symphonic Choir; Portland Sinfonietta
    Steven Zopfi, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9 November - St. Mary's Cathedral, Portland
  • 12 OCT 2014
    National Presbyterian Church, Washington
    Washington City Choir and Washington City Choir Chamber Orchestra
    Robert Shafer, conductor
  • 15 JUN 2014
    Christ Church, New Brunswick
    New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra and Christ Church Choir
  • 01 JUN 2014
    Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, CA 91355
    Santa Clarita Master Chorale
  • 27 APR 2014
    New Haven, CT
    Yale Institute of Sacred Music
    Megal Chartrand; James Knox Sutterfield, conductor
  • 26 APR 2014
    Zipper Hall, The Colburn School, Los Angeles
    Colburn Chorale
    Dr. STeven Kronauer, conductor
  • 16 APR 2014
    Silver Center for the Arts, Hanaway Theatre, Plymouth
    Plymouth State University Chorale
    Dan Perkins, conductor
  • 23 MAR 2014
    Dallas, TX
    Southern Methodist University
    Pamela Huffman, conductor
  • 15 MAR 2014
    St Gabriel's Church, Pimlico
    Southern Sinfonia and The Cantus Ensemble
    Dominic Brennan, conductor
  • 22 FEB 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    Hamburger Camerata Kammerorchester/Kammerchor Altona
    Uschi Krosch, conductor

With strings driving hard, vivacious syncopated rhythms in movement three of Triptych had an almost outrageous joy.
Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle,10/1/2007
The new work, Triptych, by Tarik O'Regan, was a triumph of simple effectiveness. His vocal scoring has a clarity and energy that resonated thrillingly, underpinned by thick-set strings that shift between fidgety repetitiveness and starry atmospherics.
Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman,3/14/2006
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