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Surrender for male chorus

By Joseph Dillon Ford

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Choir - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Joseph Dillon Ford. 21st Century, Contemporary Classical, Neo-Classical. Score. 3 pages. Published by David Warin Solomons (S0.424865).

Item Number: S0.424865

Scored for male chorus (alto, tenor, baritone and bass), "Surrender" was created as a gift for Stevens and premiered as part of the 2007 Delian Suite No. 3 (May 2007). Ford's setting is based on quintal harmonies in which chords are constructed in perfect fifths (instead of the usual thirds), a technique which imbues the music with an austere, timeless quality. The movement consists in a series of choral statements in homorhythmic chordal style of the word "surrender" in its original and successively truncated forms, with each statement followed by an elucidating observation made by the altos. In this manner, the significance of the poem, which evokes the dissolution of the ego center, is clearly communicated. The lone letter "s," which is ultimately all that remains of the word "surrender," is here prolonged to imply the sound of a distant wave or gentle gust of wind—the action of emptiness. The final line of the poem is not sung but calmly spoken.
A video, with music performed by David Warin Solomons and imagery chosen by Joseph Dillon Ford, can be seen on youtube at

Joseph Dillon Ford was born in Americus, Georgia, USA. He attended Harvard University as a Variell Scholar, graduating in 1978, and subsequently pursued an academic career at public institutions of higher education in Miami, Florida. His strong background and interest in music history has long informed his creative work, although he composes in a wide variety of both traditional and emergent styles. In 2004, with a group of composer and performer colleagues, he founded the Delian Society, an international body of men and women dedicated to the rebirth of tonal art music.  

Joseph Dillon Ford died, too young, in March 2017 and this score and performance are offered in his memory.

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