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RAIN is still awaiting a premiere performance

To the best of my knowledge, this lovely, brief composition/love song which was published by ECS Publishing in 1999, has yet to be performed by a choir. In case this helps its cause, the following review of “Rain” appeared in the September 2001 edition of Sounding Board (Volume XXXIII Number 1) published by the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc. The recording in the video is by Matthew Curtis of Choral Tracks.

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New England composer Stanley Hoffman has combined an incredibly moving text about death, suffering, and hope with beautiful compositional techniques and wonderful text painting. Hoffman's choral writing features many 7th, 9th and 11th chords and frequent bitonality set in a declamatory fashion designed to let the text be heard. Difficult chromatic modulations are commonplace, and they will challenge the best of choral ensembles...but they are well worth the effort. The piece concludes with the text “rain is falling hesitantly...and a little, falling on the leaves, becomes pearls waiting for the sun.” Without being trite or hackneyed, the voices create the feeling of rain falling and the sense of renewal and hope that comes with the spring sun. Rain is a very difficult choral composition with long phrases and extended and exposed harmonies. It requires mature and flexible voices capable of delivering a highly emotional text. It is well worth the effort.

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