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At the Edge of the Earth (Pie zemes talas)

By Maija Einfelde

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SSSAAATTTBBB choir a cappella
Composed by Maija Einfelde. Edited by Paul Hiller. Modern. Sheet Music. Duration circa 15 minutes. Published by Theatre Of Voices Edition (PE.TOV006C).

Item Number: PE.TOV006C

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Mixed Choir (SSSAAATTTBBB) a cappella -- This extended choral work was composed in 1996, and first performed by the Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Kaspars Putnins at the Festival of New Latvian Choral Music. In 1997 it won First Prize at the International Competition organized by the Barlow Foundation, USA. At the Edge of the Earth is in four sections, based on two short passages from the play Prometheus Bound by the Greek dramatist Aeschylus (circa 525- 456 BC). Prometheus, one of the Titans (the Elder Gods, eventually overthrown by Zeus and the Olympian Gods), felt sympathy for mankind, and so he stole fire from the Olympians and gave it to mankind as a gift. As punishment for this crime, Zeus orders Hephaestus (god of fire) to take Prometheus to the top of a mountain and chain him to a rock. Thunder and lightning will split the rock and bury Prometheus underground, where by day an eagle will rip his flesh and eat his liver; and by night the liver will grow back again, so that on the ensuing day the torture can be renewed. The first two sections of the composition are based on the opening of the play, as two servants of Zeus (Strength and Violence) drag Prometheus to the rock and remind Hephaestus of Zeus' orders. The third section follows attacca, but we are now right at the end of the play: Prometheus addresses a prayer to his mother, Gaia (Earth). The fourth section follows, as thunder and lightning are about to begin.

I had the idea for creating the Theatre of Voices Edition when my researches into Baltic repertoire suggested to me that far more wonderful music was being composed than existing publishing houses have recognized. It seemed to me there might be room for a new perspective, publishing fine music that I know singers enjoy singing and audiences enjoy hearing. TOVE will therefore present a very personal selection, but one rooted in the direct experience of knowing the composers and performing the music. And for similar reasons, TOVE will also be an outlet for my work in early music and in the strangely neglected field of 19th century English music. In addition, we will publish little books, pamphlets, and other musical miscellania, as time and opportunity affords. (Paul Hillier) -- Maija Einfelde was born in Valmeira (Latvia) on January 2nd, 1939.

Choral Works (including Oratorios).

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