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The Fullness of Peace


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Commissioned by the Ives Quartet and composed in celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, this nine-movement cycle for baritone and string quartet, The Fullness of Peace, is concerned with the universal ideals of unity, equality, freedom, forgiveness, and peace.  Although the work loosely follows the story of Lincoln’s life, its thematic focus is more on the aforementioned ideals, as Lincoln strove to achieve them, than on narrating Lincoln’s biography.

Julie Gregorio, compiled, adapted, and wrote the texts used in The Fullness of Peace.  She drew the texts from many sources: a fable from Aesop that Lincoln copied as a child; letters from Lincoln to his wife, to Lincoln from an eleven-year-old girl, and from Lincoln to an influential newspaper editor; speeches made by Lincoln and Frederick Douglass; and Walt Whitman’s elegiac poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.”  In addition, she composed an original poem to serve as the work’s final movement.  From its final lines derives the title of the entire cycle.

This poem, entitled “A Dream,” begins with Lincoln’s description of a recurring dream he claimed to have before each great Union victory—being borne on a mysterious ship toward an unknown land.  The poem proceeds to describe the nation as Lincoln would probably have wanted to see it: healthy and productive with its people free and unified, living in prosperity and peace.

Score and parts included.  8.5"x11".  Duration approx. 40".

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