Category:   HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS
Composer:   Stephen Chatman
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Jaymar Music Limited
Edition:   02.451
Voicing:   TTBB
Setting:   A Cappella

Reviewer:   

Michael Tamte-Horan
St. Cloud State 2004
R&R Chair High School Choirs

also SATB 02.452

This beautiful, strophic setting of Canadian John McCrae’s well-known WWI poem was commissioned for a Remembrance Day concert in Vancouver on November 11, 1998. The original version was written for men’s chorus in the key of E major and then later transposed without alterations to the key of A flat major for mixed choir. Both versions are effective, although the men’s version with the bass singing low E’s and the first tenor ascending to high C sharps has more fullness and expressive intensity than the mixed version (bass lowest note: A flat, soprano highest note: C above middle C). The style of the song is homophonic and lyrical as with many of Chatman’s other choral works. It and many other compositions by Chatman can be heard on a CD by the Vancouver Chamber Choir entitled “Due West” (CBC Records, MCVD 1132). In addition to “In Flanders Fields,” note the lovely work for SSAA choir and piano, “In the Glow of the Moon” and the powerful setting for SSATTB chorus and oboe of the text, “Thou whose harmony is the music of the spheres.”