Category Archives: Choral

Beati quorum remissae (Psalm 32) – Wadsworth

“Beati quorum remissae” by American composer Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) is a setting of portions of Psalm 32, the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. This intense setting alternates the English text with the Latin. It begins with verse 3 which relates to us the consequences of remaining silent and keeping our sins to ourselves. While I held my tongue, my bones withered awaybecause of my groaning all day long.… Read More »

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Psalm 51) – Handel

Psalm 51 is a significant in that it provides for us an example of deep and heartfelt repentance. The story involves a king who after having an adulterous affair and getting a woman pregnant, gets wrapped up in an elaborate cover-up that leads to deceit, treachery, murder, and despair. The full story is told in 2 Samuel 11-12. Thankfully for us, the king was also a musician who recorded his… Read More »

Fanfare on “Christ is Arisen” (SATB w/ Organ, Brass, and Timpani)

Just completed a new piece for Easter: Fanfare on “Christ is Arisen” for mixed choir, brass quartet, timpani, and organ. Hope you find it useful. It begins with a theme that my Associate Pastor said reminded him of Aslan, you know the great and powerful lion from the C. S. Lewis book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe who as a character has many similarities to Christ. That theme serves… Read More »

I Will Lift up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121) – Walford Davies

Having grown up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, Psalm 121 has always been a favorite: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” We were literally surrounded by mountains. In the distance on either end of the valley the mountains cascaded over each other in infinite shades of blue and green. As we looked southeast towards Mt. Hagen, we could see the rugged mountain range over which the… Read More »

Lamentations of Jeremiah – Tallis

The scenes of the empty streets in our cities these days reminds me of the first verse of the Lamentations of Jeremiah written thousands of years ago: “How lonely sits the city that was full of people!” (Lamentations 1:1) These laments take on new meaning during this Coronavirus pandemic. Christians have also used these laments during Holy Week as they grieve over the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The… Read More »

Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge (Psalm 90) – Vaughan Williams

Below is a link to a video of “Lord, Thou Has Been Our Refuge,” a setting of Psalm 90 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). In this setting Vaughan Williams combines an original setting of Psalm 90 with the great hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a paraphrase of Psalm 90 by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). The complete text of Vaughan William’s setting is below the video. You will note… Read More »

O Come, All Ye Faithful (SATB) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is an attempt to musically portray a great victory parade  to see the Christ Child (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-o-come-all-ye-faithful). The choral arrangement begins with a soloist inviting the faithful to join in a great, joyful, and triumphal procession to Bethlehem. The full choir joins by repeating the last part of the stanza, a lost tradition that is evident in early hymnals and choral arrangements of… Read More »

O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord” (Psalm 95) – Handel

Here is a setting of selected verses of Psalm 95 by Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Psalm 95 is an exhortation to sing and praise God for all He is and all that He does. The verses used by Handel are below the recording link or can be downloaded by clicking here. Find 30 minutes today to relax, listen to this psalm, and meditate on all that God has done for you,… Read More »

O Come, O Come Emmanuel (SATBdiv) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sets all seven verses of the hymn modulating into four keys while passing the melody from voice to voice before finally concluding with several sudden and surprising key changes that lead to what I call a “Picardy third on steroids” (i.e. a major chord built on the altered note of the E minor Picardy third). This motet is available with the standard… Read More »

Of the Father’s Love Begotten (SATBdiv) – English or Latin

This setting of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” is the second motet in a set entitled Three Latin Christmas Motets and is dedicated to the American Kantorei of St. Louis, Missouri. It musically intertwines two manifestations of the God incarnate: that which occurred with the birth of Christ and that which happens when believers observe the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The primary textual and musical element is the ancient, but… Read More »