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Suite Remembrance: All Flesh Is Grass (2018)

for SATB choir | 00:01:30

by Melissa Dunphy

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Commissioned by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus (Philip Barnes, Artistic Director).

Suite Remembrance is a set of four contrasting “memorial dances” for unaccompanied mixed chorus. Movements range from energetic to lyrical and moving, and each takes after a dance form. This movement is the second of the set. The text, from Isaiah 40, is set to a courtly gavotte in a minor modality.

[Dunphy's] set of four short pieces entitled Remembrance explores the relationship between dance and song. The first two settings are contrasting pieces in lively dance rhythms. There follows a haunting setting of Emily Dickinson’s ‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’. This slow and expressive piece takes the suite off in a different direction. For the final piece, Melissa Dunphy’s choice of words from Psalm 30 (‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing’) is adroit; the words bridge nicely from the introspection of Dickinson back to extrovert dancing for the last movement of this attractive Suite. [MusicWeb International]

II. All Flesh is Grass
Isaiah 40:7-8

All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
the grass withers, the flower fades:
because the spirit blows upon it:
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades:
but the word shall stand for ever.