The winner of Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award 2016
The composition encompass three pieces of distinguished atmosphere with lyrics from three historical speeches. The jury’s motivation:
“The winner masters to combine a brilliant selection of texts and mirrors them in three distinctive parts in a clear and fascinating way to form a comprehensive and contextual whole. Throughout the piece, and its rich composition techniques, the winner consistently uses the texts in an imaginative as well as humorous way. The composer creates atmospheric expressions by using syllables, especially in the ending of words, in a musically formidable manner. The composition is beautifully crafted and is a testament of the composer’s professional appreciation of all voices and its ranges. The three very different parts are dramatic, humorous, and suspenseful in their simplicity, as well as exciting in their communication between the voices, the choir and the audience.”
Speeches consists of three parts, The Rights of Woman, Surrender Speech, and The Best Friend. The first part is based on an extract from Olympe de Gouges’ “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” that she wrote in Paris 1791. de Gouges’ devotion to women’s rights led to her execution by the guillotine in November 1793. The second part is based on Chief Joseph’s surrender speech to General Nelson in Montana Territory on 5 October, 1877. Chief Joseph was the leader of the native Indians – Nez Perce. The third part is based on George Graham Vest’s speech “A man’s best friend”. The speech was his closing arguments during a trial in Warrensburg, Missouri on 23 September 1870, when he was representing a man who sued another for killing his dog.
The Rights of Woman
Olympe de Gouges (1748-93)
de Gouges wrote the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman” in Paris 1791. Her devotion to the cause of women’s rights led to her execution by the guillotine in November 1793
Man, are you capable of being just? It is a woman who poses the question; you will not deprive her of that right at least. Tell me, what gives you sovereign empire to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents?
Man alone has raised his exceptional circumstances to a principle. Bizarre, blind, bloated with science and degenerated – in a century of enlightenment and wisdom – into the crassest ignorance, he wants to command as a despot a sex which is in full possession of its intellectual faculties; he pretends to enjoy the Revolution and to claim his rights to equality in order to say nothing more about it.
Hinmuuttu-yalatlat (Chief Joseph) (1840-1904)
After a devastating battle, Chief Joseph, leader of the native Indians – Nez Perce, surrendered to General Nelson in Montana Territory on October 5, 1877 with these words:
I am tired of fighting. The old men are all dead. It is cold and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people have run away to the hills. No one knows where they are – freezing to death.
I want to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead.
Hear me my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.
The Best Friend
George Graham Vest (1830-1904)
During a trial in Warrensburg, Missouri on September 23, 1870 G.G.Vest was representing a man who sued another for killing his dog. His speech ”A man’s best friend” as closing arguments won the case.
Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.
A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
Camilla Lundberg, DN – Dagens Nyheter Nov. 2016 : “fresh and whimsical compositions of historical speeches… (färska och finurliga tonsättningar av historiska tal…)”
Andrew Mellor, GRAMOPHONE (UK) Feb. 2017: “It’s clear why Anna-Karin Klockar’s Speeches won in 2016…”
Reynolds, American Record Guide March/April 2017 : “It would be terrific if this piece was heard more often in this country”
Tobias Lund, Sydsvenskan Nov. 2016 : “Allow me to punch the keyboard! … Agnus Dei – a better piece of Klockar (Tillåt mig slå näven i tangentbordet! … Agnus Dei – ett bättre stycke av Klockar)”