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The Ascent of Gailly by Andrew Webb-Mitchell 《升华的盖利精神》

The English Composer on February 15, 2013 03:52

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NOW AVAILABLE ON iTUNES AND AMAZON.

Hui Jin (tenor), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mikel Toms.

Music by Andrew Webb-Mitchell
Words by Joanna Boulter

“In Songs of Awe and Wonder, Andrew Webb-Mitchell has created a stunning set of symphonic songs on a grand scale. The music is full of passion and heroism, with glorious harmony and beautiful textures. The orchestration is beautifully detailed and the vocal writing creates a soaring line that carries the listener right through the vast canvas of the cycle. The work is dedicated to Mahler but, although the scale of the work is comparable to a Mahlerian song cycle, the music is in no way derivative and Andrew Webb-Mitchell has his own unique style and sound-world.”

Tasmin Little, violinist

The Ascent of Gailly examines the inspiration which compels human fortitude to great feats of endurance, and is based on the story of Etienne Gailly, the Belgian marathon runner who only just failed to win the marathon in the 1948 London Olympics.

Gailly had never run a marathon before, but traded the lead with more established names throughout the first 26 miles. Despite underestimating the dehydrating effect of the severe and unusual heat and humidity, he beat back challenges on two occasions and for some time it looked as if a big surprise was in the making. He entered the stadium first, shortly ahead of Argentina's Delfo Cabrera and Britain's Thomas Richards. Gailly had barely a lap of the track to complete, but the crowd could see his legs wobbling and his path wavering to and fro. Groans rang out around the stadium as he dried up to a walk and was overtaken by Cabrera and Richards. In a shocking reminiscence of Pietro Dorado collapsing within view of the tape 40 years earlier (the last time the Games had been held in London), Gailly fell to his knees on the home straight. But, to a standing ovation, he straightened up and staggered over the finishing line for a bronze.

Heat oppresses me, weighs me down,
and it shimmers till my vision is blurring,
dimming my aim and my goal.

Can I hold on to my lead, this precarious lead,
or must others outstrip me, leave me with everything ruined?

My body gives way; I stumble, am falling,
am passed, and passed again.
How can I keep on in vain?
For my vanishing hopes are melting away to nothing.

Yet something unexpected captures the emotion of the crowd,
willing me on to the finish, forcing me back to my feet.
willing me on to the finish, forcing me back to my feet.

For resolution will brace my strength for the final lap of all,
to set me on the chill summits of endeavour
with their thin and icy air,
to conquer the gleaming peaks of destiny.

Released by: First Creative
Release/catalogue number: FCLCD004
Release date: Jan 20, 2013
ISRC: GB-THM-13-00005

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