Joelle Wallach

In Memory the Heart Still Sings

Year: 1995

Duration (in minutes): 12'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: orchestra and chamber orchestra, solo instrument other than piano, solo woodwind instrument

Instruments: bassoon, cello, clarinet, contrabass, flute, horn, percussion, viola, violin

Publisher: E. C. Schirmer

Publisher website:

Outside URL:

Score PDF: MemoryTitleInstOrchScore-.pdf

Purchase score URL:

Description: A rhapsody for solo clarinet and orchestra, In Memory the Heart Still Sings was composed in the summer of 1995, during the time of my grandmother’s deeply numinous preparation for death. Raised in large part by that woman whose grace and wisdom blessed my adulthood as much as my childhood, I stayed close to home that summer as she prepared to die. I more than willingly cancelled any plans to travel or work outside of New York because each hour with her was precious and each conversation a compendium of subtle, sweet, personal wisdom. She reviewed her life and discussed the visceral and spiritual experience of death as it gradually unfolded through and for her. One afternoon, reflecting on her mood, her memories and her ever-increasing exhaustion, she commented that for her, regardless of pain, age, loss, and physical debility, “In memory the heart still sings…” Her words are the title of this evocative, harmonious, elegiac work, an intimate chamber concerto for clarinet and orchestra..

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