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Irving Gifford Fine was born on December 3, 1914 in Boston, Massachusetts and on August 23, 1962 in the town of Natick, Massachusetts the American composer died at age 47 due to heart disease. Fine’s music incorporated such genres as neoclassical, romantic, and serial elements. Composer Virgil Thomson depicted Fine’s pieces as “usual melodic grace” while Aaron Copland gave credit to the “elegance, style, finish and…convincing continuity” of Fine’s music. “Fine was a member of a close-knit group of Boston composers in the mid-20th century who were sometimes called the ‘Boston Six’ or ‘Boston School.’ Other members of the Boston School included Arthur Berger, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, and Harold Shapero” (Irving Fine Wikipedia). There wasn’t a clear and defining moment in Fine’s life when he found that his passion was music, because he had always grown up with it. Music was a always around him, it was part of who he was, and it was built into the very core of his being. He had studied piano since a very young age and continued to develop his musical abilities as he grew into an adult. Fine attended Harvard University where he attended the “composition and theory classes of Edward Burlingame Hill and Walter Piston; he received his BA in 1937 and his MA a year later; at Harvard he also studied choral conducting with Archibald T. Davidson and, at Tanglewood, orchestral conducting with Serge Koussevitzy. In 1938-39 he attended Nadia Boulanger’s composition classes at Fontainebleau, outside Paris, and at Radcliffe College, Cambridge (Mass.)” (Irving Fine.” Irving Fine: Biography). Fine had a strong connection with Harvard which continued in 1939. It was in this year that he became a member of the Harvard Music Department.  “He was appointed Assistant Professor in 1945 and stayed there until 1950; from 1939–45 he was also Assistant Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club. At Harvard he was closely associated with Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Koussevitzky and Leonard Bernstein. In 1950 Fine took up a chair at Brandeis University, where he taught until 1962 when, on 23 August, he was felled by a fatal heart-attack” (Irving Fine. Irving Fine: Biography). Irving Fine is well known for his significant contributions to classical music. Fine attended Harvard University as an outstanding student and later returned to become a renowned professor of the musical arts. Alongside his career as a Harvard professor, Irving Fine composed a number of choral pieces which inspired the masses. His refined taste and talent in music lead him to earn multiple awards, which included, “two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Research Fellowship, and awards from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the New York Music Critics’ Circle, among others, as well as numerous commissions” (Irving Fine Wikipedia). Irving Fine was the composer of a number of choral and instrumental pieces. The choral pieces composed by Irving Fine that are best recognized and “are frequently performed, include two sets of choruses from Alice in Wonderland; Childhood Fables for Grown-ups” (Irving Fine Wikipedia).According to Singers.com, there are great number of choral pieces composed by Irving Fine. The three pieces composed by Irving Fine that I have chosen to research through this paper include those performed by the Dale Warland Singers (Irving Fine Singers.com). The Hour Glass is often times regarded as Fine’s strongest choral work, because of this I have chosen three pieces from this choral work to analyze. The first choral piece to be reviewed from this choral work will be The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin composed by Irving Fine. This will be followed by another choral piece from this same choral work, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy composed by Irving Fine. The third and final choral piece from this choral work to be reviewed through this paper will be The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament composed by Irving Fine.I chose the choral piece, The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin, because when I was researching choral pieces composed by Irving Fine, I came across it and listened to it. When doing so, I was blown away at how full and complete the sound was. When hearing it I could not think of even one way in which it could be improved because the sound was already perfect. This piece stands out to me because I found that it was so unique, flawless and like nothing I had ever heard before. This piece is so exciting and energizing that I cannot help but to think of some grand adventure playing out to this music. It makes me think of a scene where an “underdog” comes out to be the victor of some incredible feat to the sound of this music. The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin is truly a marvel. Transferring now into the technicalities of the piece, I will be touching on what voice parts this piece is written for, what the overall tone of the piece is, what language this piece is written in, and lastly, whether or not the composer, Irving Fine, had any kind of an inspiration or backstory behind the construction of this piece. The voice parts that The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin is written for are “soloists (SSAATTBB) and mixed choir (SATB) a cappella (sol (SSAATTBB) & Ch-Mixed (SATB) acap)” (Browse: Fine, I G (Composer), Choral). This piece includes no instrumentation, it is A Cappella. The overall tone of the piece is fast and triumphant sounding. It expresses a tone of great feeling because of the obtaining of a great feat. The piece is in a constant state of transformation which causes the audience to be in a perpetual state of interest and attentiveness. This piece is performed in the English language. It is not clear the composer’s inspiration for this piece, but due to the lyrics, “Then know to end, Know as to begin, and O know a minute’s loss in love is sin,” one can assume that the composer is trying to convey a tragic love story. I chose the choral piece, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy composed by Irving Fine, because when I was finding choral pieces composed by Irving Fine I came across it and when listening to it I was astonished by how clear and succinct the sound was. The sound of the piece is unequivocally precise and utterly flawless. This piece stands out to me because I found that it is clearly a phenomenal piece and of the highest quality. The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy has a sound that is ever-expanding, by which I mean that the sound continued to grow and become more and more full throughout the course of the piece. It tells a story and makes me think of a rising conflict. When hearing this piece my mind’s eye is picturing a scene where there is one group of people united for a certain cause before a schism arises, separating them, and causing hurt on both sides. This hurt grows into utter resentment from each side toward the other.  The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy is genuinely a piece to admire. Transitioning now into the technicalities of the piece, I will be touching on what voice parts this piece is written for, what the overall tone of the piece is, what language this piece is written in, and lastly, whether or not the composer, Irving Fine, had any kind of an inspiration or backstory behind the construction of this piece. According to SheetMusicPlus.com, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy has the arrangement, “Choral, Chorus (SATB DV A Cappella)” (Choir Sheet Music). This piece includes no instrumentation,  it is A Cappella. The overall tone of the piece is fast and angry sounding with a hint of betrayal. It expresses a tone of revenge because of a conflict between two sides that used to be united. This piece continually progresses the development of a story in which a conflict arises. It is an exciting piece that never loses passion. This piece is performed in the English language. It is not known exactly what the composer’s motivation for composing this piece was, but due to the phrases, “wretched”, “jealousy”, and “what my affections were” being apparent throughout the piece, one can assume that this was a way the composer used to express his feelings about the betrayal of someone close to him. I chose the choral piece, The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament composed by Irving Fine, because when searching for choral pieces composed by Irving Fine, I found it and when I played it I was taken aback by how angelic and concise the sound was. The sound of the piece was beautifully sang and with no errors. This piece stands out to me because I found that the sound and the story conveyed through the singing was sensational, remarkable, and powerful. The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament has a sound that is striking, by which I mean that the sound had much emotion and drama to it. It sounds to me that it is telling of a tragedy. This piece took hold of my imagination and caused me to picture a scene where there is a vast community of people who are for some reason suffering and are broken. A place that has only known heartache, where the people plead with anyone who might help to relieve them of such sorrow. The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament is quite honestly a work of art, one that reaches out and tugs on heartstrings. Transferring now into the technicalities of this piece, I will be touching on the what voice part this piece is written for, what the overall tone of the piece is, what language this piece is written in, and lastly, whether or not the composer, Irving Fine, had any kind of an inspiration or backstory behind the construction of this piece. The arrangement of this piece is “mixed choir (SATB) a cappella (Ch-Mixed (SATB) acap)” (Browse: Fine, I G (Composer), Choral). This piece includes no instrumentation, but it is A Cappella. The overall tone of the piece is slow and sad sounding. It communicates a tone of brokenness and desperation. The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament has a continual feeling of oppression and mournfulness throughout the entirety of the piece. This piece has an extraordinary level of intense sorrow and it is executed perfectly. The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament is performed in the English language. It is not known exactly what the composer’s reason behind composing this piece was, but due to the phrases, “woe”, “like melting snow”, and “a withered daffodil” being showcased throughout the piece, one can safely assume that this was a way the composer used to express any pain of losing someone or something close to him.In conclusion, I will reflect on the three pieces analyzed in this paper which include, The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy, and The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament. To begin, I will first reflect on the piece The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin. It was this piece that I found to be unique through the level of excitement it brought the listener as well as the ever-apparent degree of energy. The sound was incredibly full and the piece simply felt complete. This piece was fast-paced and interesting. This piece, as I stated before, is truly a marvel. Now, I will reflect on the piece The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy. This piece was phenomenally clear. The sound of the piece felt like it was ever-expanding and building on itself as it continued. It was this choral piece that performed a story of betrayal, conflict, and anger. As I stated before, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy is genuinely a piece to admire. The last choral piece that I will reflect on was also the third piece that I researched, The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament. This was the piece that I described as angelic. It is a remarkably beautiful and sensational piece. The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament is a powerful piece in which with every passing second it tugs on your heartstrings even more with its incredible use of emotion and drama. There is a great deal of pain, suffering, brokenness, and sorrow that is coupled with the feeling of oppression and mournfulness within this tragic piece.The composer, Irving Fine, does have a similar signature linking each one of his pieces, meaning that each one does have a sound that is somewhat comparable. The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin, The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy, and The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament all have a similar sound to them partially because they are all A Capella and the versions of the pieces researched were performed by the Dale Warland Singers, but they are also unique. The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin has an underlying theme of the feeling of overcoming something, while The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy has a clear theme of betrayal and conflict, all the while The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament has the definite thesis of tragedy and sorrow. The Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin is written for “soloists (SSAATTBB) and mixed choir (SATB) a cappella (sol (SSAATTBB) & Ch-Mixed (SATB) acap)” (Browse: Fine, I G (Composer), Choral). The Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy is written for “Choral, Chorus (SATB DV A Cappella)” (Choir Sheet Music). Lastly, The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament is written for “mixed choir (SATB) a cappella (Ch-Mixed (SATB) acap)” (Browse: Fine, I G (Composer), Choral). Irving Fine was clearly very talented for having composed pieces with such soul to them. I found through my research that all the pieces that I analyzed had a full and complete sound from start to finish. It did not take long before I recognized the flawlessness of all these pieces. Each of them were clear and precisely executed. It quickly became obvious that Fine was not one to settle for anything less than perfection from himself and from those who worked with him, and this is why his music is something of the highest quality.URLs for Recordings/Sheet MusicThe Hour Glass: No. 1 O Know to End, as to Begin composed by Irving Fine: https://blogs.loc.gov/music/files/2014/12/Fine-Program-Final.12.01.2014.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOq3M5kO57o https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/sheet-music/products/7194279–fine-i-the-hour-glassThe Hour Glass: No. 4 Against Jealousy composed by Irving Fine: https://blogs.loc.gov/music/files/2014/12/Fine-Program-Final.12.01.2014.pdfhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeCvjhPEiBchttps://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/against-jealousy-sheet-music/4097737The Hour Glass: No. 5 The Lament composed by Irving Fine: https://blogs.loc.gov/music/files/2014/12/Fine-Program-Final.12.01.2014.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txrHKl8mqSU https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/sheet-music/products/7195738–fine-i-the-hour-glassWebsite for Composerhttps://blogs.loc.gov/music/files/2014/12/Fine-Program-Final.12.01.2014.pdfWorks Cited”Irving Fine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_Fine.”Irving Fine.” Irving Fine: Biography,                www.boosey.com/pages/cr/composer/composer_main?composerid=2798&ttype=                BIOGRAPHY.”Browse: Fine, I G (Composer), Choral.” Fine, I G (Composer) – Choral (Page 1 of 3) | Presto Sheet Music, www.prestoclassical.co.uk/sheet-music/composers/17982/browse?instrument=1234.”Choir Sheet Music.” Sheet Music Plus, www.sheetmusicplus.com/instruments/choir/irving-fine/900018+1800901.”Irving Fine.” Singers.com, www.singers.com/composers/Irving-Fine/.

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