Advance Democracy by : Benjamin Britten
for SSAATTBB unaccompanied
Text: Randall Swingler
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Difficulty level: 2
Advance Democracy is a piece of unabashed political propaganda commissioned by the London Co-operative Society. At a time of great anxiety in Europe and on the eve of the second World War; this poem by Randall Swingler paints a dark picture of the threat of dictatorship if democracy doesn't 'rise up and cry that what our fathers fought for well not allow to die'. It is a strange piece and its overtly political message makes it quite difficult to programme except as a curiosity. Britten; however; paints a very clever picture with a long legato line moving constantly through the texture from soprano to bass and back much in the manner which he had used in The Three Kings in A Boy was Born. Around this swirling figure the other parts sing sharply punctuated chords which are full of menace. The final section moves into the major (Britten's brightly flag-waving C major) and the ending is forcefully emphatic.
The best way to perform this piece is to take the words at face value and sing them as Swingler intended; with passion and involvement taking care to really follow Britten's careful performance instructions as to articulation and dynamics.
Duration: 3 minutes
Paul Spicer; Lichfield; 2011
. . . . Sample Audio & etc. . . .
Advance Democracy (performance excerpt)
On the recording
|Publisher||Boosey & Hawkes|
| Format ||SSAATTBB a cappella|
| Length x Width x Height||10.5 x 6.75 x 0.029 inches |
| Shipping Weight||0.10 pounds |
|East Coast Music Product Code ||ZHL48003266|
|UPC Code||73999569780 |
|Voicing Description||SSAATTBB A Cappella|
| 1st Publication Date||06/2004|