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Harrison Birtwistle

Angel Fighter (2010)


Plays: 3904


A dramatic episode from Genesis for chamber chorus, tenor, countertenor and ensemble
(excerpt)
Duration: 02 mins 21 secs
Andrew Watts/Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts/BBC Singers/London Sinfonietta/David Atherton
(p) 2011 BBC © 2015 NMC Recordings Ltd
NMC D211

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Text heard on Sample:

Chorus
...Two falls
to the Angel.
See how it rewards
the blasphemer!

(Having conceded the second fall, Jacob wrestles a third time)

Angel
My swan wings
beat the body blue,
I chew you
to the rind.
Then I slink
beneath the cypress tree
to watch the vulture
dine.

Jacob
God feel me struggle –
I clamp you to my chest,
I cling like the baby
clings to the mother's breast.

Angel
I  will bring you down!
I will bring you down,
all airs and wings and crest.
I will bring you down to earth,
to prove that I am blest.

Chorus
The night is ending
and no one wins.
Our champion holds his own
with the angel.

Angel
Let me go!
Day is breaking!
I cannot wrestle.
in the light!
I'll wrench your hip
from its socket.
Let me go
or I must destroy you!

Jacob
I will not let you go
until I have your blessing!

(Jacob screams in pain as his hip is wrenched from his socket)

Jacob
Ai-o!
Ai-o!
Ai-o!
Ai-o!
Ai-o!

Chorus
Foul blow!
The Angel fights foul!
Because he cannot win!

(Jacob still holds the Angel fast)

Chorus
He limps!
His hip is broken!
But still he clings on!

Jacob
I will not let you go
until I have your blessing!...

from the libretto by Stephen Plaice © 2009



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