Scel lem duib

Tawnie Olson
Tawnie Olson
Composition Date: 2012
Duration: 00:07:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), With Solo Instrument, , Plectral String(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Harp
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
Click here to download full work (7.74 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
A medieval Irish monk once wrote: “It is senseless for anyone to cease in the praise of God. The birds, they never cease, and their souls are only air.” As I wrote this piece, I felt overwhelmed by the beauty of creation, the way plants and animals are always growing and changing, driven to take root, to migrate, to bear fruit by a force much deeper than consciousness. I love the poem “Scel lem duib” because its elegant spareness celebrates winter as a thing-in-itself, as yet another instance of nature's awful beauty. Unlike many other poems, it does not use the turning seasons as a metaphor for aging and death. As I set the text that is translated “the bracken reddens/its shape becomes hidden,” however, I found myself thinking that all of the beauty of this world is an echo of another country, one where some whom I love are hidden, and where I hope by God’s grace one day to dwell. But before I could become too lost in this thought, a flock of geese intruded, raucously calling out God's praises in the here and now.

Scel lem duib was commissioned by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music's Robert Baker Commissioning Fund for New Music. It is dedicated to Marguerite Brooks and the chamber choir of the Yale Camerata, with special thanks to harpist Kristan Toczko.

Commissioned by: Robert Baker Commissioning Fund for New Music (Yale Institute of Sacred Music)

Premiere Information:
Battell Chapel (Yale University)
New Haven, CT
Chamber Chorus of the Yale Camerata, Kristan Toczko, harp
Conductor: Marguerite Brooks


  • Call Number:
  • MV 6102 O52sc
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), With Solo Instrument, , Plectral String(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • January 30, 2013
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (39 p.) ;
    39 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 7
    1 part (7 p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Language Information
  • Language of libretto: Irish
  • Additional Information:

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Available For:

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  • Printed copies of this title are available from National Collegiate Choral Organization. Please contact the publisher directly.
    Published by National Collegiate Choral Organization


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