What I Expected Was . . .




For mixed chorus, brass ensemble, and percussion
Chorus and orchestra



Chorus and orchestra


mixed chorus, 2 horns, 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, timpani, and percussion (2 players)


5 minutes

commissioned by

the Tanglewood Festival, 1961


the Tanglewood, with Hugh Ross conducting the chorus and ensemble; Lenox, MA (August 16, 1962)

Program note

In 1962 I received my first commission – by the Tanglewood Music Festival - for a work for chorus, brass ensemble, and percussion. I chose the passionate but disillusioned text “What I Expected Was . . .” by Stephen Spender. I set the work with his permission, but then saw that he had revised the final words from “shattering crystal” to “faceted crystal.” “Shattering” made for a much better setting, and he gave me permission to use it in my work.

– John Corigliano

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