SE7EN: Of Vice and Virtue

It's the classic argument - of good versus evil.  Right versus wrong.  Righteousness versus temptation.  Of vice and virtue.

The seven deadly sins (pride, greed, desire, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth) are pitted against the seven holy virtues (humility, charity, purity, kindness, temperance, patience and diligence) throughout the show that only uses pieces centered around the number 7.  Composer John Fischer take us though the constant struggle between the choice of following one's vice and being virtuous.

Difficulty - Medium     Grade - 3.5

Public Domain pieces from Beethoven, Dvorak and Mozart require no rights to perform.

ORIGINAL COMPOSITION of 'The Struggle' requires no rights to perform.

Mvt. I - Symphony #7 (Mvt. 2) by Ludwig von Beethoven

The struggle between good and evil is presented in this haunting arrangement of Beethoven's 7th symphony - Allegretto.  Perhaps most well-known for being heard in 'The King's Speech,' the piece introduces the laborious difficulty deciding to be virtuous or falling to the dark vices.  The vice is introduced in the low winds, followed by the virtues being introduced in the woodwinds.  These concepts intertwine and build to the climactic statement of the main vice theme.  However, it is the virtue theme that takes us to the second movement.

Mvt. II - Slovanic Dance #7 by Antonin Dvorak

With a ponderous woodwind introduction, the concept of deliberating between modesty and gluttony, as well as diligence and sloth is played out through Dvorak's infamous Slovanic Dance #7.  The moderate woodwind feature gives way to a thrilling percussion feature that pushes the struggle between kindness and envy, which leads to choosing patience or wrath.  A furious melody and heavy harmony take over the concept of wrath and anger, but the kindness is represented in the middle portion of the piece, before the wrath comes back once again.

Mvt. III - La Crimosa (Mvt. 7) from Requiem Mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Pride and humility, desire and purity.  These are the decisions presented in the adaptations of Mozart's 'La Crimosa' from his famous Requiem Mass.  The struggle is subtly portrayed with the beautiful yet haunting melody presented in the opening woodwind statement, giving us a bit of a dark glimpse into choosing the vices.  But throughout the brass chord development, the virtues of purity and humility push back.

Mvt. IV - The Struggle by John Fischer

As we go through life, we have to make many decisions that are reflected in the dichotomy between the vices and the virtues.  In 'The Struggle' you can hear the back and forth as rhythmic and melody figures are layered on top of each other and developed into a growing transition, only to give way to a silent break, and then BOOM!  The three pieces all come back for a culminating statement, which gives way to a thrilling conclusion interweaving all of the music from the show.  The choice of vice and virtue is OURS to make.