Pro patria mori: A Memorial in Music
This chapter describes a piece of music composed as a memorial, not so much to war per se but rather to those who have been affected by war. I selected seven war poems and arranged them in a cyclical order to form a narrative reflecting on different aspects of, and responses to, war. These include disbelief, numb shock, anger, resignation, loss of innocence, grief, and hope. I then wrote a 25-minute seven-movement cycle for choir with piano. The first and fourth movements also require a soprano soloist. I gave the composition the title Pro patria mori, a reference from Horace (dulcis et decorum est pro patria mori: it is sweet and honourable to die for one’s country) with the preparatory words intentionally omitted.
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