And I heard a voice out of heaven : for mezzo-soprano and baritone soli, SATB chorus unaccompanied
by Elliott Gyger (1997)
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Library shelf no. CD 1518 [Available for loan]
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And I heard a voice out of heaven : for mezzo-soprano and baritone soli, SATB chorus unaccompanied / Elliott Gyger.
Library shelf no. 782.55525/GYG 7 [Available for loan]
The text of And I heard a voice out of heaven, quite apart from its visionary promise of eternal rest, shows us the process of scriptural transmission at the very beginning. We observe the narrator (John of Patmos) receiving "divine dictation" being instructed to write down what he hears, so that the news may be passed on to the rest of the world. The present work emphasizes this process of transmission by interleaving settings of the text in three different languages. A solo baritone perhaps John himself, in the grip of his vision declaims the text in the original Greek; the choir translates it into the Latin of the Vulgate, the form in which it has been most widely known over the course of its two-millennium history; and a solo mezzo-soprano interprets it in modern English. These three layers are heard in alternation, sometimes overlapping, through most of the piece. It is only in the final section that they all come together, in a gentle lullaby for the blessed dead.
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano solo, baritone solo, SATB choir.
Duration: 5 min.
Difficulty: Easy — Amateur choir, more challenging solo parts
Text from Revelation Ch. 14, v. 13.
Winner of Francis Boott Prize in concerted vocal music (Harvard University, USA), 1998.
- On the occasion of: Christian music
Performances of this work
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