And Crimson Roses Once Again Be Fair
Cantata for chorus, soloists and chamber orchestra

Music by Joseph Turrin
Based on a texts from World War 1
Commissioned by Musica Viva, Master Chorale of Washington and The New Orchestra of Washington

"I've been traveling a lot again, but found time to listen to and watch your extraordinary cantata. This a very moving work and succeeds on many levels. I wept when I wasn't angry. (I also love that you're not afraid of true melody and that you allow us to feel, don't force us to!) Bravo"

— Librettist Mark Campbell

Based on poetry by Charlotte Mew, Bruno Frank, Siegfried Sassoon, Alfred Lichtenstein, Wilfred Owen, Albert-Paul Granier & Vera Brittain.

Cataclysm - the one-word description of the tragedy of World War One, which led to the deaths of over ten million human beings in battlefields from the Marne to the Middle East. Well we should mourn this cataclysmic event and continue to draw lessons from it.

It was "The War To End All Wars,"- a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history. Yet, it was more than just a war between nations. It was a war between what was and what was to be. The "old world" was dying, and the new world had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw it as some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men had died in the mud of the battlefields. The naive dreams of progress, along with the innocence of the pre-war world, faith in God, and hope in the future all died in the trenches of Europe. Tony Novosel

Duration = 45 minutes

The Cantata is scored for:

flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, harp, strings and 2 percussion.

Individual Movements

Part 1
Prelude (orchestra), Let Us Remember Spring, Rejoice friends! that we are alive,
Bombardment, At the Front, I am Division Commander, Soliloquy,
Anthem of Doomed Youth

Part 2
In Ftanders Fields, Interlude (orchestra), Poor Dogs, The Mortars,
Elegy/Perhaps, Let Us Remember Spring (Epilogue)

See review and audience comments from the November 11, 2018 performance in New York

"The second half of the program was given over to American composer Joseph Turrin's cantata And Crimson Roses Once Again Be Fair, a co-commission by Musica Viva NY, the New Orchestra of Washington, and the Washington Master Chorale. It's a magnificent work, drawing for its texts on the writings of the 'War Poets', some of them famous, some forgotten. While putting us in mind of the great choral masterpieces of Elgar, Howells, and Parry, as well as of Vaughan-Williams' Sea Symphony and - of course - of Britten's War Requiem, Mr. Turrin's epic cantata shows his own excellence in writing music - both moving and finely-crafted - for instruments and voices alike. And Crimson Roses Once Again Be Fair deserves a place of pride in the repertory of choral groups worldwide."

— Oberon November 12, 2018

Audience comments

"I thoroughly enjoyed this evening's moving and well-performed program. Proud to have been present for the NYC premiere of Joseph Turrin's cantata, which was dramatic, ethereal, and heart-breaking. Bravissimi to all."

"Incredible experience, and such moving music and poetry that touched us to the core -- to tears at times. Thank you Alejandro and Musica Viva NY and Joseph Turrin for a very special commemoration."

"This concert will stay with me for a very long time! Thank you! Thank you!"

For further information contact Joseph Turrin at