Gentle Mary - Tamsin Jones

Duration: 3'45"
Ensemble: SATB unaccompanied
Grading: Easy/Medium
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This simple motet is based on a hymn called Clwyd, which I composed largely by playing the folk song Scarborough Fair in a major key. I harmonised the tune and showed it to a friend, who encouraged me to create a full motet with a mixture of English and Latin words.

The words depict the scene shortly after the birth of Jesus and before the arrival of the shepherds and wise men: the child is being lovingly held close by the young mother, who falls exhaustedly asleep in the arms of Joseph. The words also foretell the pain that Jesus and Mary will one day suffer for the sake of the world. The music attempts to capture these moods through changes of texture, dissonance and harmonic complexity.

It is dedicated to Jamie and Grace Hall, who have done a lot of encourage my development as a composer.