Joelle Wallach

Plaint For A Prince And King

Year: 1984

Duration (in minutes): 7'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: brass ensemble, choral, percussion ensemble, percussion trio, piano

Instruments: any male voice, baritone voice, bass voice, horn, percussion, piano, tenor voice, trombone, trumpet, tuba

Publisher: Joelle Wallach

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Score PDF: Plaint-for-a-Prince-and-King-CompleteScoreBrassPerc.docx.pdf

Text PDF: Plaint-for-a-Prince-and-King-CompleteScore-Piano.pdf

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Description: Plaint for a Prince and King, written for men’s choir with either brass and percussion or with piano, is a setting of the Biblical David’s horror, regret and sorrow at his having killed his closest companion, Jonathan, in battle. As such it stands, as does the Biblical texts, for the devastating personal and moral consequences of war – as relevant to the wars of today as to those of Biblical times. A TTBB score with brass and percussion, as well as one with only piano accompaniment. Jonathan was the son of King Saul and the close, close friend of David who became King after Saul. But the succession from Saul to David was not a smooth one. There was a bloody civil war from which David emerged the victor and during which Jonathan faced the dilemma of divided loyalties. He chose to side with his father against his friend; and along with his father he was killed in battle. The text for Plaint for a Prince and King is drawn from the lament David composed on the death of his beloved friend. It is not only a moving elegy, but a testament to compassion for the friend's dilemma, a friend seen not as an enemy or a betrayer, but as the victim of the conflict between two opposing loves. The music, composed in late 1982 for men's voices with piano or with brass and percussion, is the developmental elaboration of a simple, single motive. The "stretching" of the diatonic tonality, never leaving its domain yet incorporating discord, is descriptive of the story.

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