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O Absalom

By Stanley M. Hoffman

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TTBB choir, unaccompanied - Medium
Composed by Stanley M. Hoffman. Advanced/Collegiate. Lament/Grief/Sorrow, 21st Century. Octavo. Published by Galaxy Music Corporation (EC.7.0696).

Item Number: EC.7.0696

ISBN 600313706967. Language: English. Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:33.

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). Duration: 5:15.

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