Duration: 3'15" |
Ensemble: SATB organ
This Easter anthem sets five verses of Charles' Wesley's hymn. The opening toccata-like organ introduction helps to create a suitably
jubilant mood, whilst the use of the asymmetric 7/8 time signature gives the piece some rhythmic interest. Verse two (bar 21) uses
tenor and bass voices only and introduces some new melodic material, though the buoyant mood is maintained. Verse three (bar 37) sees a
return to the opening theme.
Midway through verse three, there is a change of mood and tempo, marking the middle section of the piece. The new theme is treated in imitation between the voices before a chordal texture is established. There is a slight increase in tempo moving into verse four (bar 67) where the material is set in imitation between the soprano and alto voices. The final section of the piece - verse 5 (bar 87) - is marked by a repeat of the opening theme, plus a short coda to conclude the piece with a dramatic flourish.
The anthem was first performed by the choir of Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church, Detroit, conducted by their Director of Music, Philip J. Michéal, on Easter Sunday, April 2007.