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Sarah Quartel - She Sang the Stars

for SSAA and piano She Sang the Stars uses the lens of Elias Lönnrot's Finnish epic, the Kalevala, to explore the stages of womanhood. With texts in English translation, the outer movements act as an introduction and conclusion, while the central movements profile three female characters from the Kalevala at different stages of life: Ilmatar (Youth), Lempi (Warrior Mother), and Louhi (Wise Woman). Quartel's writing is rich in expression and rhythmic vivacity, with both voices and piano contributing to the evocative storytelling.

for SSAA and piano
She Sang the Stars uses the lens of Elias Lönnrot's Finnish epic, the Kalevala, to explore the stages of womanhood. With texts in English translation, the outer movements act as an introduction and conclusion, while the central movements profile three female characters from the Kalevala at different stages of life: Ilmatar (Youth), Lempi (Warrior Mother), and Louhi (Wise Woman). Quartel's writing is rich in expression and rhythmic vivacity, with both voices and piano contributing to the evocative storytelling.

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SSAA and piano<br />

<strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong><br />

<strong>She</strong> <strong>Sang</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong>


<strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong><br />

<strong>She</strong> <strong>Sang</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong><br />

for online perusal only<br />

SSAA and piano


Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP,<br />

United Kingdom<br />

Oxford University Press is a department of <strong>the</strong> University of Oxford.<br />

It fur<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>the</strong> University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship,<br />

and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of<br />

Oxford University Press in <strong>the</strong> UK and in certain o<strong>the</strong>r countries<br />

This work © Oxford University Press 2024. Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot, translated by Keith Bosley,<br />

© 1989 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission.<br />

<strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong> has asserted her right under <strong>the</strong> Copyright, Designs<br />

and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as <strong>the</strong> Composer of this Work<br />

First published 2024<br />

Impression: 1<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,<br />

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,<br />

without <strong>the</strong> prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press<br />

Permission to perform this work in public (except in <strong>the</strong> course of divine worship)<br />

should normally be obtained from a local performing right licensing organization,<br />

unless <strong>the</strong> owner or <strong>the</strong> occupier of <strong>the</strong> premises being used already holds<br />

a licence from such an organization. Likewise, permission to make and<br />

exploit a recording of <strong>the</strong>se works should be obtained from a<br />

local mechanical copyright licensing organization<br />

Enquiries concerning reproduction outside <strong>the</strong> scope of <strong>the</strong> above<br />

should be directed to <strong>the</strong> Music Rights Department, Oxford University Press,<br />

at music.permissions.uk@oup.com or at <strong>the</strong> address above<br />

ISBN 978–0–19–357308 – 6<br />

Music and text origination by Katie Johnston<br />

Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by<br />

Halstan & Co. Ltd, Amersham, Bucks.<br />

for online perusal only


Contents<br />

1. Start off Singing 5<br />

2. Water-Mo<strong>the</strong>r 9<br />

3. <strong>She</strong> Ran 22<br />

4. Stealing Fire 27<br />

5. Song of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> 40<br />

Composer’s note<br />

<strong>She</strong> <strong>Sang</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> tells stories inspired by three women characters from <strong>the</strong> Finnish epic poem <strong>the</strong> Kalevala.<br />

In movement 1, ‘Start off Singing’, a storyteller sets <strong>the</strong> stage and prepares to share a tale that has long been<br />

hidden in <strong>the</strong> cold. Movement 2 tells <strong>the</strong> story of young Ilmatar, ‘Water-Mo<strong>the</strong>r’, who steps down from<br />

<strong>the</strong> sky to <strong>the</strong> sea and is impregnated by a tempest. <strong>She</strong> carries her child for centuries before giving birth.<br />

‘<strong>She</strong> Ran’, movement 3, follows Lempi as she relentlessly searches for her lost son. <strong>She</strong> tracks him as a wolf,<br />

swims through rivers as an otter, and even asks <strong>the</strong> trees if <strong>the</strong>y have seen her ‘staff of silver’, her precious<br />

child. In movement 4, ‘Stealing Fire’, wise and powerful witch Louhi demonstrates her command of <strong>the</strong><br />

elements and uses all magic available to her to seek justice against those who have wronged her. Often seen as<br />

<strong>the</strong> main villain of <strong>the</strong> Kalevala, here she is revered as a strong and powerful matriarch. The final movement,<br />

‘Song of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong>’, is without text and honours <strong>the</strong> presence of <strong>the</strong> stars, particularly Ursa Major (Great Bear),<br />

referenced throughout <strong>the</strong> Kalevala. All-knowing and all-seeing, <strong>the</strong> stars shone well before <strong>the</strong>se tales were<br />

told and will remain long after <strong>the</strong> story is done.<br />

While <strong>the</strong> seeds inspiring o<strong>the</strong>r works in my catalogue may be traced to a poem, event, or landscape, <strong>the</strong><br />

heart of this work grew from <strong>the</strong> collaborative relationship developed with <strong>the</strong> commissioning ensemble.<br />

I dedicate this work, with warmest thanks, to Kerra Simmons, Artistic Director, and all <strong>the</strong> choristers in<br />

Singing Girls of Texas, 2022–2024.<br />

Let <strong>the</strong>m sing.<br />

for online perusal only<br />

Duration: 14 mins


Commissioned by Singing Girls of Texas, Kerra Simmons, Artistic Director,<br />

to celebrate and empower all singers<br />

<strong>She</strong> <strong>Sang</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong><br />

Echoes of Women from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

SARAH QUARTEL<br />

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Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

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* Close immediately to <strong>the</strong> ng at <strong>the</strong> end of each iteration of <strong>the</strong> word ‘singing’.<br />

† Grace notes without lines through should be sung on <strong>the</strong> beat; those with lines should be sung before <strong>the</strong> beat.<br />

This work © Oxford University Press 2024. Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot, translated by Keith Bosley, © 1989 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission.<br />

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, MUSIC DEPARTMENT, GREAT CLARENDON STREET, OXFORD OX2 6DP<br />

The Moral Rights of <strong>the</strong> Composer have been asserted. Photocopying this copyright material is ILLEGAL.


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* Close immediately to <strong>the</strong> n at <strong>the</strong> end of each iteration of <strong>the</strong> word ‘listen’.


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2. Water-Mo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

(Ilmatar—Youth)<br />

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Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

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with additional words by <strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong>, inspired by <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

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Music © Oxford University Press 2024. Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot, translated by Keith Bosley, © 1989 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission.<br />

Photocopying this copyright material is ILLEGAL.


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* Close immediately to <strong>the</strong> m on each iteration of <strong>the</strong> words ‘swim’ and ‘swims’.


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3. <strong>She</strong> Ran<br />

(Lempi—Warrior Mo<strong>the</strong>r)<br />

Extracts from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala, trans. W. F. Kirby,<br />

with additional words by <strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong>, inspired by <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

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© Oxford University Press 2024. Photocopying this copyright material is ILLEGAL.


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4. Stealing Fire<br />

(Louhi—Wise Woman)<br />

27<br />

Words by <strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong>, inspired by <strong>the</strong> Kalevala<br />

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© Oxford University Press 2024. Photocopying this copyright material is ILLEGAL.


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* Pronounce as <strong>the</strong> word ‘nun’, with an open vowel, but closing immediately to <strong>the</strong> final n.


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33


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* Pronounce as <strong>the</strong> word ‘nun’, with an open vowel, but closing immediately to <strong>the</strong> final n.


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40<br />

5. Song of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong><br />

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© Oxford University Press 2024. Photocopying this copyright material is ILLEGAL.


41<br />

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<strong>She</strong> <strong>Sang</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Stars</strong> uses <strong>the</strong> lens of Elias Lönnrot’s Finnish epic, <strong>the</strong> Kalevala, to explore <strong>the</strong><br />

stages of womanhood. With all texts in English translation, <strong>the</strong> work’s outer movements act as<br />

an introduction and conclusion, while <strong>the</strong> central movements profile three female characters<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Kalevala at different stages of life: Ilmatar (Youth), Lempi (Warrior Mo<strong>the</strong>r), and Louhi<br />

(Wise Woman). <strong>Quartel</strong>’s writing is rich in expression and rhythmic vivacity, with both voices<br />

and piano contributing to <strong>the</strong> evocative storytelling.<br />

<strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong> is a Canadian composer and educator known for her fresh and exciting approach to choral<br />

music. <strong>She</strong> celebrates <strong>the</strong> musical potential of all learners by providing singers access to engaging repertoire<br />

and transformative musical experiences. Deeply inspired by <strong>the</strong> life-changing relationships that can occur while<br />

making choral music, <strong>Sarah</strong> writes in a way that connects singer to singer, ensemble to conductor, and performer<br />

to audience. Although she has been a full-time composer since 2017, <strong>Sarah</strong> chooses to remain connected to her<br />

past as a music educator and is a guest teacher in her hometown of London, Canada. <strong>Sarah</strong> continues to work as a<br />

clinician and conductor at music education and choral events at home and abroad.<br />

For more details about <strong>Sarah</strong> <strong>Quartel</strong> and her music, please contact Oxford University Press, Music Department.<br />

Cover image: © Beth Ruggiero-York/Shutterstock<br />

ISBN 978-0-19-357308-6<br />

www.oup.com<br />

9 780193 573086

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