List of Works || Shoppin' Blues

Shoppin' Blues (1985)

Choir, SATB, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass

Duration: 3 minutes, 30 seconds

First Performance: 12 April 1987, Toronto; Opera in Concert Chorus, Robert Cooper

Shoppin’ Blues is part of a small collection of mixed choral works Weinzweig composed in 1985-87 following a thirty-year break from choral writing. As with Trialogue and Private Collection (sung by solo soprano), Shoppin’ Blues emphasises the rhythmic and phonetic quality of texts rather than poetic.

According to Weinzweig, Shoppin’ Blues “describes the course of a carefree shopping trip that turns into a frenetic experience under pressure of persuasive inducements.” Following separate entrances from each section, the choir sings mostly in block rhythms to emphasise the shopping endeavours: “lookin’ everywhere, down street, Bay Street... .” Similar to Hockey Night in Canada, which also premiered at the same concert, the choir builds intensity through staggered, almost frenetic, statements until the final block statements: “I don’t really care; I’ve got shoppin’ blues. Here, there, everywhere.”

Written by Alexa Woloshyn