Gulliver, a Choral Symphony


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Gulliver, a Choral Symphony in five movements, was commissioned by Telecim Eireann and first performed by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra with Tallaght Choral Society and the choirs of St Patrick's Cathedral in 1995. In many ways the most ambitious and challenging of this composer's works, it is a musical realisaation of Jonathan Swift's famous satire on human folly, Gulliver's Travels The choral passages derive from verses in the Psalms of the King James Bible, with images of storm and dread of drowning, while others portray the vain and the timid under the eyes of a vengeful god. A wild orchestral dance, alternating with a song of blessing sung by the boys of St. Patrick's Cathedral School, chart Captain Lemuel Gulliver's loss of faith in humankind. By contrast, the words of Psalm 82 provide a powerfully affirmative and hopeful conclusion.

God standeth in the congrgation of the mighty; how long will ye judge unjustly and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and the fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and the needy. Deliver the poor and the needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are the Gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit all nations.