= The World Below the Brine – Nigel Morgan

The World Below the Brine

for large chorus (SATB)


Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) was a poet whose words about the natural world have continued to enjoy new and novel settings by composers today. No doubt influenced by the descriptive writing of his almost exact contemporary Herman Melville Whitman’s descriptions of the sea contain a richness and wonder. The World Below the Brine is no exception containing extravagant lists of fish, mammal and plant life below the waves.

The World Below the Brine is the first of three Deep Sea Songs that take their cue from the composer’s immersion in the world of the deep oceans during composition during 2011-12 of Migrations for orchestra, Sounding the Deep for bass voice and orchestra, and Shoals for chamber ensembles and electronics. The setting, for a large chorus of at least eighty voices, has been composed for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and their new music director Ben Parry.

In this setting there is a simplicity of texture combined with a looser approach to word setting than is usually found in Nigel Morgan’s choral works, most of which are for small forces.

Words by Walt Whitman feature prominently in Nigel Morgan’s Schizophonia, a work for three ensembles, a co-commission between BBC Wales and the Ilios Festival Norway. Two pieces for large chorus and keyboard under the title Vocalism are available as standalone works in the composer’s catalogue.


The World Below the Brine study score [pdf]

The World Below the Brine performance score [pdf]

The World Below the Brine performance score with piano reduction [pdf]