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War is Kind

By Daniel McCarthy

Look War is Kind
Detailed Description

War is Kind (with SATB Choir). Composed by Daniel McCarthy. For Choir with Concert Band (Piccolo, Flute 1/2, Oboe 1/2, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2/3, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon 1/2, Alto Saxophone 1/2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bb Trumpet 1, Bb Trumpet 2/3, F Horn 1/2, F Horn 3, Trombone 1, Trombone 2/3, Euphonium, Tuba, Piano, Timpan). Grade 4. Score and parts. Duration 15:10. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.05970).

The awesome power unleashed in the machinery of war and the fear that there may be an end to the world as we know it comes alive in this explosive work. Texts from well known poets are set to McCarthy's music. (Beat!Beat!Drums! by Walt Whitman); the odd dichotomy in the text that seemingly was written to console a grieving parent, lover, or another who has lost a loved one - when one wonders how their loved one died - did they suffer? "Do not weep, War is kind." (War is Kind by Stephen Crane); and the utter despair of James Joyce's "I Hear An Army" (My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?)

After the events of September 11, 2001, many composers and artists jumped on the 9/11 "bandwagon" to create pieces on that timely subject. So I must say immediately that "War Is Kind" is not really a piece about 9/11. But, being a child of the late sixties and early seventies, I remember the Vietnam war, although I was too young to be drafted. My generation, it seems, was very lucky to then come of age during a relatively long period of peace. But, war is once again a major concern in our country with the gulf war seemingly leading to the new war in Afghanistan. It is with this in mind that I have been thinking about my older friends and colleagues who fought in WWII and Korea. It is awesome to comprehend being the age of 18 and staring in the face of annihilation. Still, many of these people did what they must and are alive today to tell me about their lives.... So, three of the four movements from "War Is Kind" are about; the awesome power unleashed in the machinery of war and the fear that there may be an end to the world as we know it (Beat!Beat!Drums! by Walt Whitman); the odd dichotomy in the text that seemingly was written to console a grieving parent, lover, or another who has lost a loved one - when one wonders how their loved one died - did they suffer? "Do not weep, War is kind." (War is Kind by Stephen Crane); and the utter despair of James Joyce's "I Hear An Army" (My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?) I am also aware of the battles that we must fight in our personal and professional lives. So the last movement, "Beyond the Havens" is about reconciliation and healing. It is titled partly after the last chapter of "the Return of the King" by J.R.R. Tolkien.

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