work details

We Reply

  • Instrumentation: for SATB, strings (or string quartet), and piano
  • Completed: July 2018
  • Duration: 4 1/2 minutes
  • Texts: Adapted by the composer from the Shema and Haskivenu prayers
  • Score Preview:
  • Commission and Dedication:

    Commissioned by and dedicated to the Master Chorale of South Florida, Brett Karlin, Artistic Director

  • Program Note and Text:

    We Reply was written for my dear friend Brett Karlin and the wonderful singers of the Master Chorale of South Florida. Imagined for a Bernstein 100th celebration concert, this work was inspired by Bernstein’s famous quote about making art in the face of adversity. Brett had the wonderful idea of incorporating texts from the Jewish sacred prayers the Shema and Haskivenu, and so I set out to craft a text that could respond to these many viewpoints. This was my creation:

    Hear us, God
    Hear our strife
    Hear our plea

    Hear us, God
    Hear our pain
    Hear our joy

    We seek your peace
    We seek your grace

    Hear us, God
    Hear our plea
    Hear our joy

    Heal us, God
    Heal our pain
    Heal our strife

    Guard our going and our coming
    Keep us safe in your all-knowing

    In the face of struggle, we reply...
    In the face of anguish, we reply...
    In the face of violence, we reply...

    "We shall love you, God,
    With all our heart
    With all our voice
    With all our soul
    With all our joy

    Now and forever."

    And for these words, I composed a music that bursts forth with rhythmic energy and momentum. Its harmonies clash with the threat of violence, but also surge with an inevitable optimism, propulsion, and joy. Yes, we shall make music unabashedly, even when the walls seem to be closing in all around us. And our song will echo on long after we are gone.

    -- Dominick DiOrio, July 2018

  • Performances:
    • October 26, 27, 28, 2018 (Premiere)
      Master Chorale of South Florida
      Brett Karlin, artistic director
      Locations TBA - Ft. Lauderdale, FL