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O Absalom

My composition, “O Absalom” (TTBB) just went under contract with ECS Publishing today for publication and recording in Spring 2016, and promotion in Fall 2016. “When David heard that his son had died, he was deeply moved. He went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. As he wept, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!'” 2 Samuel 18:33 (KJV) Adapted by yours truly.

The form of this piece consists of three dirges and a thrice-repeated refrain. The grief-driven text is itself repetitive which inspired similar musical treatment. The first dirge for tenor solo or unison tenor 1 section, represents the lone voice of the bereaved father, King David, calling out in realization upon hearing the news of the loss of his son (refrain). Dirge #2 is imitative in nature, inspired by the image of King David moving through the cavernous passageways of his palace, his lamenting voice echoing throughout; one could similarly imagine his forlorn thoughts echoing around his mind (refrain). The third dirge is homophonic, chorale-like: the king in his chamber over the gate, still inconsolable; one could similarly think of this as a chorale in memory of Absalom himself (refrain).

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