*ALL GOD'S CREATURES op.651 (June 2013)

Song-cycle for children's voices, SATB chorus and orchestra, with optional film projection
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra
Children's voices, SATB chorus and orchestra (with optional projected film )
2(I+II=picc).2.2(II=Ebcl).2 - 2221 - timp - perc(2): tgl/large susp.cym/tam-t/SD/conga/(wind machine)/ratchet/t.bells/2 anvil/cyms/thunder sheet/tamb/BD/whip/glsp/mar/bell tree - pno(=cel) - organ - harp - strings

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Texts by famous English poets
Duration: 27:15
First Performance: Awaiting completion of score to achieve a first performance as of 19 05 2020

Sheet Music Available
Piano / Vocal score for sale
Vocal score for sale
Organ / vocal score for sale
Piano / Vocal score for hire
Vocal score for hire
Organ / vocal score for hire
Recordings Available
Recorded CD version for children's chorus, also DVD available by request from Highbridge Music



All God’s Creatures’

A song-cycle with film

for children’s voices and orchestra

Originally performed in 1995 by The Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra with massed children’s chorus, it was ten years later, after further performances including one in the Royal Albert Hall, that composer Howard Blake decided to venture into the making of a film to accompany the work. The principal cameraman was John Mills, but ‘The Whale’ was shot by Howard’s son Christopher, ‘The Tiger’ by Howard himself and ‘Rats’, ‘The Crocodile’, ‘The Oxen’ and ‘Hurt no living thing’ by Emmett Elvin, who also edited the film and acted as technical supervisor.


The texts used are:

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage (William Blake)

The Tiger (William Blake)

The Lamb (William Blake)

The Owl (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The Snail (John Bunyan)

Rats (Robert Browning)

The Swan (anon)

Leviathan (The Book of Job)

The Crocodile (Lewis Carroll)

The Swallow (Christina Rossetti)

The Oxen (Thomas Hardy)

Hurt no living thing (Christina Rossetti)


Composer's note:
The work begins with an excerpt from William Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence' spoken by children over the sound of the orchestra and leading dramatically into the first song. 'Tiger, tiger burning bright’. A gentle setting of 'The Lamb' follows, then Tennyson's 'The Owl', which is treated sardonically ('warming his five wits') and 'The Snail' of John Bunyan very smoothly, featuring a solo violin. 'Rats' are squeaky, noisy and rumbustious, but 'The Swan' follows with grace and peace, led by the harp. The seventh song takes a passage from the Book of Job - 'Leviathan'. The music conjures up a picture of a giant whale, using full orchestra, chorus (and organ if available.). The eighth song summons up Lewis Carroll's smiling crocodile of the Nile, (using conga drums),  then follows 'The Swallow' by Christina Rossetti, a swooping evocation of flight and sun, and 'The Oxen' by Thomas Hardy. A young child speaks over pizzicato strings with words again by Christina Rossetti, 'Hurt no living thing', the work coming to its conclusion with a triumphant recapitulation of ‘The Tiger’.



Related Works

'*ALL GOD'S CREATURES' op.468 (August 1994)
Song-cycle for children's voices and orchestra (with optional projected film )
'THE OXEN' op.565 (January 2006)
A Christmas song for SATB choir (extract from 'All God's Creatures' a song-cycle for SATB chorus and orchestra, see op.651)

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