Alleluia

Julian Anderson (1967)

Alleluia 2007

3333-4331-perc(4)- harp - pno - strings
Duration 
15
Solist 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

The opening of a new performing space – or in this case, a newly refurbished one – is always a cause for celebration and rejoicing. Initially this work was only going to set the word ‘alleluia’ repeatedly in many languages and dialects. Then my friend Bayan Northcott drew my attention to the extraordinary set of verses in Latin known as the ‘Alleluia Sequence’ in which all creation joins together in praise and jubilation. The word ‘Alleluia’ occurs at the end of every verse, so there was plenty of chance for me to set it in different ways. I did not wish simply to write an occasional piece, but to explore the many emotions of celebration in a variety of ways that would result in contrasting types of music, whether exuberant or meditative. Chorus and orchestra dialogue in the manner of a concerto, each having passages to themselves. Three musical sections are played without a break. First, a dense orchestral mist from which choral melodies reminiscent of plainsong emerge. Then a vigorous choral-orchestral dance, ending with a choral cadenza. Finally, the longest part - mainlys slow, which explores the word ‘Alleluia’ alone. Here the orchestra includes a number of unusual instruments such as steel drums. Alleluia was commissioned by the South Bank Centre for the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007. I am grateful for the collaboration of the London Philharmonic Choir (with whom I have myself sung on occasion), the London Philharmonic Orchestra and their brilliant conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Alleluia is dedicated to them all.

Julian Anderson

Performances 
11.6.07 Royal Festival Hall, London: London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Vladimir Jurowski
20.11.09 Perth, Australia: Western Australian Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Paul Daniel
1.3.14 Royal Festival Hall, London: London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Vladimir Jurowski
3
Flute
3rd doubling piccolo & alto flute
3
Oboe
3rd doubling cor anglais
3
Clarinet
3rd doubling bass clarinet & Eb clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd doubling contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
4
Percussion
vibraphone, glockenspiel, whip (2), tubular bells (2), large marimba, steel drums, bass drum, 3 suspended cymbal, 2 sizzle cymbal, 2 tam-tam, 2 triangle
1
Harp
1
Piano
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