There are 150 psalms in the Bible, each one originally meant to be sung; and so they were for most of the last 3,000 years, beginning at the Jerusalem Temple. They were adopted as the primary song text of the early church as evidenced by Col. 3:16 and maintained in the Western church throughout medieval times. Psalms were the featured texts of most of the Reformers and were the sole mode of sacred singing among the first American settlers. Of late, hymns and choruses and popular songs with human texts have almost entirely replaced the singing of God’s word in many churches. This scarcity of Psalms in the Church’s song is a great loss which frequently urges me to promote their increase.
The thirteenth Psalm holds a complaint, a petition, and a confession of faith and the music of THIRTEEN portrays each with text painting appropriate to the psalmist’s words. A lurching timpani ostinato totters along beneath the choir’s tripartite “how long” complaint, followed by a dissonant recitative petition transitioning through shimmering tonal clusters into a joyful, major-key, confession of faith tingedwith a NT perspective from Eph. 3:20-21.
THIRTEEN is challenging music, both in music and message, but for the adventurous music department it provides the opportunity to plumb the depths of scripture with artistry worthy of the rich heritage of Psalmody to use music to express the full message of God’s revelation. THIRTEEN is fitting to program liturgically as a musical exposition of the Psalm or in a sacred or secular concert setting. The very light orchestration complements the vocal performance with rich instrumental color without overwhelming the voices.
PDF includes score, set of parts, and choral octavo.
Price includes digital printing of necessary quantity of choral octavos for original purchaser only.
Soprano — B3 – Ab5
Alto — A3 – D5
Tenor — Db3 – G4
Bass — A2 – D4
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