Goings On About Town-“Fire in My Mouth”
The New Yorker
January 18, 2019
By: Oussama Zahr
“One aspect of the horror of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which is the basis of Julia Wolfe’s new oratorio for orchestra and female choruses, was its avoidability: the doors were locked to keep garment workers from taking unauthorized breaks. Like the other two pieces in Wolfe’s trilogy about American labor history (“Steel Hammer” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anthracite Fields”), “Fire in My Mouth” makes its impact with massed voices expressing hope and pain against the din of industry.
The New York Philharmonic, together with the chamber choir the Crossing and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, performs the world première of the piece on a program that also includes a movement from Steven Stucky’s “August 4, 1964” and Copland’s wistful Clarinet Concerto.”
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