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Higher, Faster, Stronger

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Duration

8 minutes

Year of Composition

2012

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

Hal Leonard

Note from Composer

Higher, Faster, Stronger was written for the BBC Proms in 2012. The piece was performed by a 56-voice strong choir, formed of the Eric Whitacre Singers and the BBC Singers, alongside percussion quartet ensemblebash.

The title, Higher, Faster, Stronger is derived from the Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius. To embody these powerful words into my composition, the massed voices of 56 professional singers were split into three choirs: Higher Choir, Faster Choir, Stronger Choir, creating the impression that the choirs are racing and competing throughout the piece.

An Olympic Ode from the 5th century BC by Greek poet Pindar seemed the perfect choice of poetry for this piece. I collaborated with my close friend, poet and historian, Charles Anthony Silvestri, to find this exquisite text which he has translated into Latin.

The Text

Best of all things is water;
but gold, like a gleaming fire by night,
outshines all pride of wealth beside.

But, my heart, would you chant the glory of games,
look never beyond the sun by day
for any star shining brighter through the deserted air,
nor any contest than Olympia greater to sing.

Pindar, ca. 522–443 BC

Instrumentation

Triple SATB chorus
Soprano solo
Percussion 1, 2 & 3
Piano