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Judith's Doubt and Resolve (1988)

Duration: 10 minutes

No! Let him live!
Can't you see that it is the truth he speaks...
Be proud, rather, that a man
Who dares to raise his voice to Holofernes
Speaks so well of our race...

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"):
Yes, I can succeed!

Other Orchestral Music:
Fanfares and Nocturnes