All This the World Well Knows: a symphonic cantata in Sonnets and Proverbs for mixed chorus, four solo voices, and orchestra
Perry-Parrish, Joseph Adams
Wilson, Mark E
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All This the World Well Knows is a 30-minute symphonic cantata for mixed chorus, four solo voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone), and orchestra. The libretto, adapted by the composer, weaves together texts from Shakespeare's Dark Lady sonnets and from the King James Bible's book of Proverbs in a loose narrative of love, betrayal, and reconciliation. The composition's pitch material includes microtonality that arises from the just intonation of sonorities derived from the harmonic series. In passages in which the solo voices express this microtonality, they are amplified in order to allow precise, non vibrato intonation. The modest size of the orchestra, which includes pairs of winds and only two percussionists, makes the composition practical for a wide range of performing groups.