Alex Freeman's Under the arching heavens: A Requiem (2018) was commissioned by Nils Schweckendiek and the Helsinki Chamber Choir to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Finnish civil war. Structured around the Latin liturgy of the mass for the dead, the work has a duration of more than an hour and also incorporates poems in Finnish, Swedish and English, reflecting both the specific reason for the commission and the universality of human suffering caused by war. In the non-liturgical texts chosen by Freeman, birds are a recurring image, as is that of a mother and child. The work ends with lines by Walt Whitman from a poem written in the aftermath of the American Civil War; lines described by the composer as ‘some of the most comforting poetry in the English language.' Also included on the disc is A Wilderness of Sea, another recent choral piece which draws on works by Shakespeare, and the poet's images of the sea, and of mankind's relationship with it.
I. Sydämeni laulu (Aleksis Kivi)
II. Requiem aeternam
Thrushes (Siegfried Sassoon)
Fientliga stjärnor (Edith Södergran)
V. Mikä lienee se lintu ollut? (Viljo Kajava)
VI. Agnus Dei
VII. O Years and Graves! (Walt Whitman)
Duration: c. 67'
Have a look inside by clicking “sample”.
The following movements of this work are available separately as PDF publications:
Sydämeni laulu (9790550166462)
Fientliga stjärnor (9790550166479)
Mikä lienee se lintu ollut? (9790550166486)
O Years and Graves! (9790550166493)