Out of your slepe : SATB choir and clarinet in E flat
by Elliott Gyger (2008)
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Library shelf no. 782.5525/GYG 2 [Available for loan]
The central message of the joyous 15th-century carol text Out
of your slepe is the way that Jesus' birth works to exalt
humanity as a whole; in the person of Mary, through the
Incarnation itself, and by release from the bondage of sin.
This musical setting treats the five verses symmetrically, with solo voices in the first and last and the fullest texture for the triumphant third verse. Contrasting with this arch design, the refrains form a linear progression from quiet humming at the start to exuberant peals of "Nowel" at the end, as the choir is gradually roused out of its sleep. The refrains also function as instrumental interludes featuring the E flat clarinet, whose character ranges from delicate lyricism to driving energy - even finding room at one point for an appropriately diabolical shriek!
Instrumentation: SATB choir, clarinet in E flat.
Duration: 4 min.
Written for: Newman College Choir
Text from a 15th-century Carol: Selden MS from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
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