Against War

(various poets)

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: soprano & orchestra

Duration: 23 minutes

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Program Notes

I don’t know if this piece will ever get a performance, but I needed to write it – a suite of songs for voice and orchestra setting some powerful poems I found in the anthology Poets Against the War. The poems were written in response to a, so to speak, call to arms, by poets protesting against the decision to invade Iraq and the anthology was published in 2003. Hard to believe that was 15 years ago – and that we are still suffering the repercussions of that misguided decision.

The setting is for 2 flutes, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, C trumpet, trombone, tuba, tympani, harp and strings.

Doing something with these poems has been in the back of my mind for many years, but perhaps in response to everything going on these days, not just in the U.S., but abroad as well, where it feels like enough powerful fools are thumping for war, I needed to get this out of my system. Not that this, my own miniscule form of protesting for peace, will do any good….

The music is dedicated to the 11,000 or so poets who responded to the call and contributed their words and thoughts to Poets Against the War in the hope that reason would prevail over reaction. If only their effort had prevailed back then, the world would be in a better place today – but fear, hysteria and war mongering ruled the day.

In our current times, their words still ring true – and are needed more than ever.


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