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If (An impression of the poem by Rudyard Kipling)

Viola and Piano / ca. 2:402007 / With energy and conviction q. = 80

00:00 / 02:36
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Program Notes

Composed in 2007, If, was written at the request of Peter Alexander (Alexander Publishing) and is part of a larger project of Solo Compositions written for each major instrument of the Orchestra: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn in F, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. The project consisted of composing music for specific poems chosen by

Peter that he felt reflected the character of each instrument.  For the original Solo Trombone, the poem assigned was If by Rudyard Kipling.



by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, not talk too wise:


If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master; if you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;


If you  can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run --

Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and -- which more -- you’ll be a Man, my Son!

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