Of Youth and Time
for 3 Choirs and 2 Pianos (1997)
by Ron Hannah


Words: William Blake, Dylan Thomas, William Butler Yeats
Duration: about 7 minutes

    This work is nothing short of spectacular, even if I do say it myself. Commissioned by the Da Camera Singers (in which group I sang for many years), it combines the three groups that shared a concert in the spring of 1998 in Edmonton. The other two

groups were Kokopelli, a youth choir conducted by Scott Leithead, and the Edmonton Children's Choir, directed by Ann McIntyre.

    Each choir sings a verse or a section of its poem by turns; the children singing William Blake's Spring, the youth choir singing the first and last verses of Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill, and Da Camera singing Yeats' When You Are Old, in short, poems that are appropriate to their respective ages. The effect is very strong. The style is richly romantic, tonal with dissonances, and powerfully rhythmic with the two pianos punctuating nicely. When the three choirs combine for the conclusion, the result is thrilling indeed. This is one of my most successful works.

    It occurs to me that when Da Camera was working on the piece, we leaned all of the parts, not just our own, and that worked too, so it can be done by a single choir. Look for a version for a single choir with one piano in the future...or send me an email requesting same - it would be a great incentive!

     A recording of this work may be heard by clicking on the Texts/MP3 button above, and the score is available by request, below.