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David Lang

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Oh Graveyard (lay this body down) (2010),
Text Writer
Traditional and the composer
Publisher
Red Poppy
Category
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
2010
Duration
3 Minutes
Chorus
SATB a cappella
Language
English
Availability
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Programme Note
David Lang Oh Graveyard (lay this body down) (2010),
Premiere:
September 30 2010
Conspirare
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor
Georgetown, TX

Composer Note

The choral conductor Craig Hella Johnson asked me to write a contemporary spiritual, for a program that he was designing for his chorus Conspirare. My understanding of his concept was that it might be interesting to make a program of music that was more a response to the genre of spirituals and what they mean than to try to connect through spirituals directly to slavery and the African American experience. I hope I got that right! With this in mind I found a traditional song - 'lay this body down' - and universalized it, changing the text slightly and the harmony greatly, magnifying the notion in the text that faith might ease our journey towards a peaceful death.

— David Lang


Sample Pages



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  • Ensemble
    Conspirare
    Conductor
    Craig Hella Johnson
    Harmonia Mundi:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 30 SEP 2010
    Georgetown, TX
    Conspirare
    Craig Hella Johnson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1-3 October - Austin, TX
    5 October - Goshen, IN

Reviews
The multi-layered effects put down by Lang create the impression of a multitude of voices rising from the graves, drifting in from a distant past, and calling us to eternal rest. Strange but effective.
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel,9/1/2011
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