RBM-120 | Passage Into Spirit

Passage Into Spirit
Baritone Soloist and SATB chorus with Large Orchestra

This large work was commissioned by the Buffalo Symphony Chorus, in celebration of their 70th year of making music with the Buffalo Philharmonic. This composition is, to date, the most extensive choral orchestral piece yet written by the composer.

The piece is cast in 5 movements:

  • Prologue    “Come, said the muse…”
  • I.    “O, take my hand, Walt Whitman…”
  • II.    “Hark, some wild trumpeter…”
  • III.    “Strains musical, flowing through the ages…”
  • Epilogue    “Is it a dream…?”

The text was selected by the composer from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

The composition is romantically conceived and tonal, in keeping with the emotional / pictorial style of Whitman’s poetry. The music is crafted to give the audience a spiritual experience, through music and poetic imagery, without the imposition of any particular sectarian faith or dogma. Walt Whitman is symbolically represented by the soloist, and the choral forces embody the voice of Spirit.

The last movement of the work contains the element of tuned, glass-blown bowls – of the type from which glass harmonicas are constructed. Bowed handbells or wordless choral voices can be substituted for these passages if glass bowls are impractical or unavailable.

( dur: 30:00″ )

All rentals arranged through ECS Publishing.

View: Passage Into Spirit – SATB Vocal Score

View: Passage Into Spirit – Full Text

View: Passage Into Spirit – Orchestration – Prologue – first page

View: Passage Into Spirit – Orchestration – mvt. I – first page

View: Passage Into Spirit – Orchestration – mvt. II – first page

View: Passage Into Spirit – Orchestration – mvt. III – first page

View: Passage Into Spirit – Orchestration – Epilogue – first page


Passage Into Spirit – Prologue
Passage Into Spirit – mvt. I
Passage Into Spirit – mvt. II
Passage Into Spirit – mvt. IIIa
Passage Into Spirit – mvt. IIIb
Passage Into Spirit – Epilogue