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Blessings (Set 3) : for voice or voices in unison with piano

by Brett McKern (2017)

Work Overview

The first set of Blessings was commissioned by The Cathedral Singers, a Sydney-based choir for their tour to sing in UK cathedrals in 2011. They were also performed at the bedsides of the dying by another Sydney-based choir, led by Rev'd Dr Sue Emeleus, an Anglican deacon and organist. The experience was so profound that they requested some more blessings to sing. Dr Emeleus says, "There is a richness of words and music that I haven't seen before in such blessings and I hope Rita and Brett go on producing them." This was the impetus for the writing both the second set of four Blessings and this, the third set, of ten Blessings. The instrumentation is different to the first set (which is for SATB choir a capella), and the same as the second set: voice(s) and piano. In Set 3, however, the piano part is more approachable, and more importantly, able to be played on a five-octave keyboard for easy transportation in settings such as hospitals. It is hoped they bring peace and succour to the dying and bereaved; and nourishment and joy to the singers and all listeners. Dr Emeleus has found other liturgical uses for the Blessings too, such as as Psalm responses, so it is hoped that they might have a wider application too.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Voice(s), piano (or keyboard).

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Easy

Contents note: Calm Your Fears -- Take My Hand -- Let the Stillness Comfort You -- Eternal Rest -- Lay Down Your Troubles -- Freedom is Yours -- Your Journey Home -- Your Strength and Succour -- All is Forgiven -- Nourish and Keep You.

10 short blessings. Piano accompaniment can be played on a five octave keyboard.


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