Five Biblical Songs
S.A.T.B. Chorus & Keyboard
15 minutes | 1981
Score 32 pages
"The Earth Mourns"
"Happy the Man Who Finds Wisdom"
"Lay These Words in Your Heart"
These songs are for S.A.T.B. chorus with keyboard accompaniment. The texts were freely excerpted by the composer from Old and New Testament verses. The musical settings are highly rhythmic and even asymmetric in their meter on occasion. The rhythmic syncopations are complemented by similarly jazz-inspired harmonies, but the overall mood is lyrical.
The work begins with the darkly-colored "The Earth Mourns", with texts from Isaiah and Daniel. Second is the gently playful "Happy the Man Who Finds Wisdom", with text from Proverbs, followed by the jubilant "Golden Wishes", with text from Matthew, Isaiah, Romans, and John. "Love Is" uses a text from 1 Corinthians, is the longest song of the group, and features the most elaborate keyboard accompaniment. The work concludes with the delicate and sparsely-accompanied "Lay These Words in Your Heart", with text from Proverbs and Isaiah.