Duration: 2'15" |
Ensemble: SSATB unaccompanied
Heaven is one of three settings of George Herbert written in May 2020, intended to form a group of four with Virtue (Sweet Day), written in 2014.
This is a poem unusual in form, where each question about the nature of heaven is answered by an echo, so that the question really answers itself. Naturally the setting is intended to reflect this idea, with the lower voices as the questioner and the upper voices as the echo, which should be as hushed as possible: as the questions become more urgent, the lower voices are split in counterpoint, until with the resolution they sing for the first time in harmony. The final question then leads to a triumphant echo from all voices, the loudest section of the piece, which gradually diminishes to a single note which fades (as it were) into eternity.