The Seas of God
Fanfare-Overture for Chorus and Orchestra
Duration: 7 mins.
Commissioned by the Greensboro Choral Society for the 500th anniversary of the voyages of Columbus, this work takes as its text excerpts from Walt Whitman’s last major poem, Passage to India. William Carroll, the conductor of the Greensboro Choral Society, specifically asked for a fanfare-like work to use as a program opener. The work captures the exhilaration of charting the unknown, as well as something of the tragic figure of Columbus himself. Whitman’s words focus on the ultimately unifying effect of making of the earth’s peoples one people and on the still-present need for us to “farther, farther sail.” This work was premiered in October, 1992, and received its second performance by the Houston Oratorio Society immediately thereafter.
- “…a mighty vocal fanfare that strides boldly for seven rousing minutes.”
---William Albright, Houston Post
- “…a festive opener…The chorus took to the adeptly composed work joyously.”
---Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
- “…a rousing, soaring score well suited to Whitman’s reflections on the voyages of Columbus. Melodic and tuneful, it was a surprise to those for whom modern music is associated with dissonance. The swelling notes echoed the optimism in Whitman’s words embracing a multicultural globe ‘swimming in space.’…The audience was richly rewarded.”
---Abe D. Jones, Jr., Greensboro News & Record
READ PROGRAM NOTES