Judith's Doubt and Resolve (1988)
Duration: 10 minutes
No! Let him live!
This was commissioned by Vadstena Academy for Stina Tornberg and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who gave the première under Esa-Pekka Salonen in Stockholm to celebrate the Academy's 1988 Silver Jubilee.
The work is scored for soprano and an orchestra of 2 fls (2o=picc); 2 obs; 2 cls in A; 2 bsns; 4 hns in F; 2 tpts in C; 2 tbns. Bass tbn; tuba; synthesiser; harp; 3 perc; timp; and strings.
The music is extracted from Scene Four of McQueen's opera Line of Terror, which had been a triumph for Tornberg the previous summer, when the opera was premiered at Vadstena Castle. The extract presents Judith's great solo scene of self-questioning and decision and adds a prelude in blazing orchestral colours. The piece was revived in 1991 in Glasgow, when the soprano was Virginia Kerr with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
MP3 audio extract (1'53"):