"Surrender" is a choral setting of Henry Stevens's poem of the same name, dated 6 October 2003:

"Surrender," by Henry Burt Stevens.

Ford first encountered the poem in Stevens's chapbook, Victory, for which the composer was commissioned to write another score featured on the DVD version (2005) of this collection:

Victory, by Henry Burt Stevens.

Scored for male chorus (alto, tenor, baritone and bass), "Surrender" was created as a gift for Stevens and premiered as part of the 2007 Delian Suite No. 3 (May 2007). Ford's setting is based on quintal harmonies in which chords are constructed in perfect fifths (instead of the usual thirds), a technique which imbues the music with an austere, timeless quality. The movement consists in a series of choral statements in homorhythmic chordal style of the word "surrender" in its original and successively truncated forms, with each statement followed by an elucidating observation made by the altos. In this manner, the significance of the poem, which evokes the dissolution of the ego center, is clearly communicated. The lone letter "s," which is ultimately all that remains of the word "surrender," is here prolonged to imply the sound of a distant wave or gentle gust of wind—the action of emptiness. The final line of the poem is not sung but calmly spoken.

This mp3 performance is by the DWS Chorale, Sale, United Kingdom, with David Warin Solomons directing.

Click here to download mp3 of the same movement (1.8 megabytes).

Last updated November 29, 2009
WebMaster: New Music Classics Administrator,
© Copyright 2009 by Joseph Dillon Ford