3 New Choral Works from Henry Dehlinger

On October 27, 2019, Henry's Three Choral Songs on James Joyce premieres at the Washington Master Chorale's 10th Anniversary Season opening concert with Maestro Thomas Colohan conducting.

Night Piece
Written for a cappella SATB chorus, Night Piece begins as a reverent, if not haunting, portrait of “night’s sin-dark nave.” Replete with ecclesiastical imagery, this subdued choral meditation swells into a tender exultation of the night sky with soaring melodies and lush harmonies. Joyce’s characteristic neologisms abound: A star-knell tolls as upsoaring clouds surge voidward, high above the “adoring waste of souls.”

Strings in the Earth and Air
Featuring a soprano solo, Strings in the Earth and Air is a light interlude with sparkling piano accompaniment and impressionist overtones. The song’s sultry vocal line emerges from a progression of minor and dominant 9th chords in this jazz-inspired hymn of nature.

Written for SATB chorus with piano accompaniment, Bahnhofstrasse is an existential piece about the loss of youth. The title refers to the Zurich train station where in August 1917 Joyce suffered a sudden and painful attack of lumbago, later compounded with increasing blindness as a result of glaucoma. The four-part vocal lines float wistfully over a minimalist piano accompaniment that steadily reiterates a simple, eerie motif as the poet’s failing eyes mock his deteriorating youthfulness.

The Washington Master Chorale’s 10th Anniversary Season opening concert takes place on October 27, 2020 at the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St NW, in Washington, DC. Entitled The Promise of Living, the evening’s program will showcase a cappella American art songs, folk hymns and spirituals. Artistic director Thomas Colohan conducts.

About the Washington Master Chorale

The Washington Master Chorale is a vibrant, sixty-voice professional and volunteer chorus with a reputation for vocal excellence and discriminating concert programing. Since its debut concert in 2010 under the baton of Artistic Director Thomas Colohan, the Chorale’s performances have received repeated critical acclaim.  The Washington Post hails the ensemble’s singing as “remarkable for its beauty,” “seamlessly blended,” and “a sound worth hearing.” The Chorale is dedicated to the expansion of the choral canon and maintains that commitment through its annual commissioning of new choral works by leading American composers.

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2019-2020 Premieres

  • Oct 27
    Washington Master Chorale: Three Choral Songs on James Joyce (World Premiere),  Washington
  • Apr 18
    National Philharmonic at Strathmore: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (World Premiere),  North Bethesda
  • May 8
    Santa Clara Chorale: Kohelet - A Cantata in Five Movements (World Premiere),  Santa Clara

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Premiering in 2020

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Rhapsody for
Voice and Orchestra

Music by Henry Dehlinger
Words by T.S. Eliot

A sweeping 21st century rhapsody for voice and orchestra, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was composed especially for Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes. Adapted from the famous poem by T. S. Eliot, it uses the melodic and rhythmic contours of Eliot's stream-of-consciousness narrative to dictate mood and melodic character.

World Premiere: April 18, 2020
The National Philharmonic at Strathmore
Piotr Gajewski, Music Director & Conductor

Soparno Solo and Orchestra


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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Premiering in 2020

KOHELET: A Cantata in Five Movements 

Kohelet: A Cantata in Five Movements

Music by Henry Dehlinger

Inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and co-commissioned by the Washington Master Chorale and the Santa Clara Chorale, Henry's Kohelet gives you lush, modal melodies, energetic meters, and colorful harmonic textures with Hebrew text drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.

World Premiere: May 8, 2020
Santa Clara Chorale and Santa Clara University Choirs, Scot Hanna-Weir, Artistic Director
Thomas Colohan, Conducting

SATB, Bass-Baritone Solo, Soprano Solo, Brass, Organ, Harp and Percussion.


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I. Hakol Havel (All is Vanity)

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