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This piece interweaves two texts, one from a Bengali song about the uncertainty of life, the other, from 2 Esdras 14v25, offering a ‘candle of understanding’. The Bengali song first appears as a duet between soprano and alto voices. Tenors then introduce the Apocryphal text and a new melody, against a flickering chordal background representing the light of a candle. In the last third of the piece, the two melodies and texts are combined. It’s effective to add a light percussion accompaniment (e.g. tambourine on the three main beats of each bar, and light drum taps on each eighth note - as in the audio realization).
Also available for SSAA voices.
Pronunciation guide included
I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out. From the Apocrypha: 2 Esdras 14, v.25
Jahoori jahoor re chenei, katooriai kaat, Rakhalia krishak a chenei fasholeri maat, Sharno karei shona chenei kashurura kasha, shati nari janei shudhu patir bhalobasha, Aami konu kisu chinlam narei, kulkinara pailam na pabashastra bujhlam na. Traditional Bengali song
[ Jewelers, they know their jewels, woodcutters know their wood, Farmers know their field of barley and their field of corn, Goldsmiths know their golden bracelets, silversmiths their silver, But I have little understanding, I don't know which way to go, I don't know the way of life. My only guide is love. ]
Purchase – 3005: I shall light a candle (SATB)
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