Were You There? is an adaptation of the Afro-American spiritual of the same name attributed to John and Frederick Work. This is an amazingly powerful orchestration for chamber orchestra and features solo flute throughout the piece. The solemn opening presents the melody that permeates the work. The intensity rises and falls with every climax and returns to a plaintive statement of the verse with solo flute, clarinet, and piano at the end. In every way, Were You There? certainly captures the essence of a true-to-form Negro spiritual.
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