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        Genre: Sacred Choral Pieces

        Title Description Composer Voicing

        Winchester Service

        #MM0834

        Winchester Service – Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

        These canticles, suited for mixed voices and organ, premiered on May 6 2023 in the Winchester Cathedral. Joseph Twist comments, “It fascinates me that the words of the Magnificat were considered by some to be so radical that they were banned in some parts of the world. Believed to be the words of Mary, phrases like “filled the hungry,” “exalted the humble and meek” and “the rich sent empty away” resonate with me, and I believe they resonate with many people today just as they have for centuries, despite the bans. There is also a great sense of storytelling to the text, as these phrases take us from one idea to the next, ultimately offering a sense of peace and contentment, then reaffirmed by the uplifting words of the Nunc Dimittis. I’ve endeavoured to convey this story with music that rises and falls, contrasted by more static choral sonorities and underpinned by a gentle perpetuum mobile organ accompaniment. At the conclusion of each canticle, “Amen” takes us to a place that is vast, peaceful, and celestial. It is my hope that these canticles may offer a uniquely Australian response to a text that has echoed throughout churches and cathedrals for centuries.

        Winchester Cathedral Choir Recording of Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis – Conducted by Andrew Lumsden and Organist Claudi Grinnell

         

        Ubi Caritas

        #MM0832

        NOW AVAILABLE

        “Where charity and love are, God is there.” A commemoration of Jesus Christ for Holy Thursday, for me, the Ubi Caritas has a few significant dimensions; the warmth of Christ’s love, the adoration and mystery of the holy spirit, and the idea of an ‘inclusive, universal’ celebration. Accordingly, my Ubi Caritas reflects this through contrasts in harmonic language, at times chromatic or mysterious, at other times diatonic or pentatonic, reflecting Christ’s love, as well as the influence of modal harmony from Eastern Europe and Africa. Similarly, contrasts in rhythm and texture are incorporated. The calm, sparse music which bookends the work is countered with rhythmic, syncopated music in a kind of ritualistic exultation.

        A Celtic Blessing

        #MM3015

        NOW AVAILABLE

        The text, based on a traditional Celtic blessing, reminds us of the companionship of Christ and parallels our life’s journey with his. It is suitable as a doxology in church services, a blessing in Christian weddings, an act of dedication in baptisms and confirmations, a graduation blession or a moment of musical calm within a choral concert. This piece can provide comfort in times of personal stress and reassurance of the chosen journey through life. It ends with a beautiful and expressive setting of Amen, providing a moment of quietly confident affirmation.

        In Paradisum

        #MM0833

        NOW AVAILABLE

        Three Eucharistic Motets

        #MM3022

        NOW AVAILABLE

        These three motets are settings of hymn texts by the influential theologian and writer, Thomas Aquinas. O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim), Panis Angelicus (Bread Of Angels), and Tantum Ergo (Hence So Great A Sacrament) each pertain to the Eucharist – a central aspect of Christianity. The chant melodies of these texts are layered with other material (both derived from the tune, and freely written) in a similar fashion between each piece to create linked, but unique modern textures. Each uses predominately the same pitches, but with different use of modality originating from each chant theme producing different colours in the sound world.

        This set is a part of the Sacre Australis series.

        Listen below for recordings of Three Eucharistic Motets by Joshua Adams

        O Salutaris Hostia:

        Panis Angelicus:

        Tantum Ergo:

        Arise my love, my fair one

        #MM0831

        NOW AVAILABLE

        “Arise my love, my fair one” was written in 2012 for the service at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Australia. Flowing lines rise gradually towards the “fragrance” to which the text refers later, the blooming and blossoming of spring and the heralding of a new dawn, for the ministry of women and men. The middle section exhorts in dramatic homophony which gradually calms to release “fragrance”, and then repeats the ideas of the opening. The piece dies away, as if lover and beloved were disappearing into a mist (or a cloud of incense!).

         

        Listen to a recording here!

        Mater Dolorosa

        #MM0812

        NOW AVAILABLE

        The original SATB version of Mater Dolorosa was composed for conductor Jillian McGregor and the Corinthian Singers of Adelaide for a Good Friday concert in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Radford Auditorium in April, 2011. The work was subsequently revised and expanded (SSATBarB) in 2013, and was premiered by Adelaide Chamber Singers – conducted by Carl Crossin – at the Musica Sacra a Roma in Rome, Italy in July 2013. Mater Dolorosa is a setting of the first four stanzas of the 13th century Marian hymn Stabat Mater Dolorosa, a much longer poem which expresses Mary’s sorrow as she stood at the foot of the cross witnessing her son’s death by crucifixion.

        Evening Prayer

        #MM2107

        The text of this piece is taken from the Evening Prayer of St Augustine, which asks for the protection and love of God whilst we are asleep, before calling for a blessing upon those who are suffering. While an a cappella performance is preferred, the minimal accompaniment gives harmonic support and can be used if desired in rehearsal or performance.

        Lullaby (Treble)

        #MM2109

        This gentle piece expresses the feelings of Mary as she reflects on the child she has borne. She feels affection for the sweet young babe she holds in her arms. Yet there is also wonderment and awe, as she understands his true nature and grapples with what the future holds for him. These are feelings similar to what any mother would have for her child. A mother’s love is a universal theme. It can be understood by people of all faiths and creeds. Therefore, this piece, while sacred, can be sung in secular contexts as well as in services.

        A version of this piece is also available in SATB voicing here.

        The recording below is by the UQ Chamber Singers, 2022, conducted by Graeme Morton.

        Lament

        #MM2035

        Lament is a piece for mixed choir and cello. The text comes from the 17th-century oratorio ‘Jephte’ by Giacomo Carissimi. The words are those of anguish, for Jephte promised to sacrifice the first thing he laid eyes upon if he returned victorious from war. He fulfilled this vow, even though this happened to be his only daughter.

         

        The recording is of the Brisbane Chamber Choir, for whom the piece was written. The cellist is Gwyn Roberts.

        Lullaby

        #MM0614

        This gentle piece expresses the the feelings of Mary as she reflects on the child she has borne. She feels affection for the sweet young babe she holds in her arms. Yet there is also wonderment and awe, as she understands his true nature and grapples with what the future holds for him. These are feelings similar to what any mother would have for her child. A mothers love is a universal theme. It can be understood by people of all faiths and creeds. Therefore, this piece, while sacred, can be sung in secular contexts as well as in services.

        Two Kyries from the Winds of Heaven (SA)

        #MM2005
        For treble voices a cappella.
        These short songs are unusual, fresh and vivid. They resonate with ideas drawn from several religious philosophies. The composer sanctions performances within the context of Christian worship as well as any philosophic tradition which values the soul. Includes harmonic overtone singing. The individual parts are very simple and a large and sonorous ensemble is preferred.
        Note: This score includes an additional alternative ‘Kyrie 11’
        Listen to the SATB version here!

        Hullayha (SATB)

        #MM2021
        Unaccompanied recording from ‘ON THE ROAD with St Peters Chorale’ directed by Graeme Morton

        Accompanied Recording from CD ‘Childers Shining’ ~ music by Sarah Hopkins performed by massed community choir with the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra conducted by Robert Rotar.

        Hullayha (pronounced ‘Hull-ay-ha’) for SATB divisi choir a cappella or accompanied (by optional percussion, String Orchestra or Full Orchestra). The soulful opening gradually transforms into abundant joy. All the melodies are very ‘singable’ & supported by sustained drones which ‘birth’ out of the melody line.

        Available in SA voicing here.

        Hullayha (SA)

        #MM2022

        Hullayha (pronounced ‘Hull-ay-ha’) for SA divisi choir a cappella or accompanied (by optional percussion, String Orchestra or Full Orchestra). The soulful opening gradually transforms into abundant joy. All the melodies are very ‘singable’ & supported by sustained drones which ‘birth’ out of the melody line.

        Available in SATB voicing here.

        Ave Maria

        #MM0610
        Boughen’s two part sacred piece for treble voice and organ is a reflective arrangement of the classic text. Suitable for an advanced choir of young voices.

        Hombres, Victoria, Victoria (from Three Motets after Victoria)

        #MM2034(c)

        The third of Joseph Twist’s “Victoria Triptch”. Suitable for concert use, and liturgically especially at Christmas.

        The recording (below) is by the Choir of St James Church, King Street, Sydney. A pronunciation guide is also here.

         

        Victory, mankind! Because against all of hell, The crying of a tender child ensures our glory.

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, found here – not available singly.

        Lamentation of Jeremiah (from Three Motets after Victoria)

        #MM2034b

        The second of Joseph Twist’s “Victoria Triptych” this piece quotes from Victoria’s Lamentation, adding new modern elements clothed in a rich, plaintive harmonic language. Suitable for concert and liturgical use, and making musical references to Victoria’s Lamentations throughout.

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, linked here – not available singly.

        Versa est in Luctum

        #MM2034a

        Number one of Twist’s “Victoria Triptych”. My harp is tuned for lamentation, and my flute to the voice of those who weep. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are as nothing (trans. Miguel Iglesias)

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, linked here – not available singly.

        Three Motets After Victoria (Victoria Triptych)

        #MM2034

        This “Victoria Triptych” was written in 2011, the 400th anniversary of the death of the great Spanish polyphonist, Thomas Luis de Victoria. For unaccompanied SATB choir, and with divided parts, these wonderful Latin motets remind us that the great motet tradition is still vibrant and flourishing. The individual titles, recorded by the choir of St James King Street, Sydney, one of three commissioning choirs, are:

        Versa est in Luctum

        Lamentation of Jeremiah

        Hombres, Victoria, Victoria!

        Christ the Lord is Risen Again

        #MM0609

        An energetic and exuberant paean on an Easter text by sixteenth century German writer, Michael Weisse. The music bowls along in changing meters from 4/4 to 7/8, 6/8 and 2/4. The choral parts are often in rhythmic unison or doubled by the keyboard, so the music is memorable and easy to sing by choirs of all abilities. There is a great balance between the asymmetry of the rhythm and the repetition of sections. The accompaniment lies “under the fingers” and is easily accessible to most church accompanists. This piece is suitable for any part of the Easter season, but particularly for Easter Sunday. Its dance like character also makes performance possible in choral programs outside religious services.This simple and vital anthem solves the problem of finding Easter music that is vibrant and energetic rather than grand and triumphant. If your choir likes John Rutter’s Easter music you may also like this piece, which makes references in the keyboard part to the well-loved hymn tune commonly sung to the same text.

        This recent work by Australian composer/choral conductor Graeme Morton is an energetic and highly rhythmic setting of this familiar Catherine Winkworth translation of a sixteenth-century German hymn text.  The frequently changing meters from 4/4 to 7/8 to 6/8 add syncopation and rhythmic energy, a fitting complement to this joyful text.
        The melody is memorable, and the composer has creatively, yet subtly alluded to the familiar Easter hymn tune Lyra Davidica in the instrumental introduction and interludes. Aside from some moderate rhythmic challenges, the choral writing is quite accessible, and range and tessitura are easily within the reach of the average church or high school choir. The accompaniment, while best suited to the organ can also be performed on the piano.  
        This piece is suitable for the season of Easter and would make a great anthem for Easter Sunday for those churches that choose not to prepare works with brass ensemble. Highly recommended. (Review in the American Choral Director’s Association Journal)

        Erratum – In bar 57 the bass part should be 2 b-naturals followed by 2 b-flats, as in bars 27, 78, 106.

        Voice Of The River

        #MM2041

        Orlovich has a keen ear for the way different texts resonate with each other. This piece uses the traditional Latin text Dulcis Jesu Memoria and Victor Carrell’s Voice of the River which draws on a series of images which address “love” as it is found in some of its myriad manifestations. Commissioned by Graeme Morton’s St Peters Chorale and suitable for a good high school or college choir. It could also be used in church situations as an anthem.

        Lo, There Is Light!

        #MM2042

        Combines the text of Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning with two verses of Australian bush poet “Banjo” Paterson’s Sunrise on the Coast. Excellent Christmas piece. This work was commissioned in 1996 by The Harvard University Choir.

        Lux Aeterna

        #MM2060

        Though written in an advanced idiom, this work was commissioned and first performed by Graeme Morton’s St Peters Chorale, a leading high school choir in Australia. The composer writes, “musically, this work has been much influenced by Renaissance choral music…my aim above all things was to draw upon a tradition of writing that is solemn, richly spiritual but ultimately life-affirming”.

        Listen to Lux Aeterna here!

        Two Kyries From The Winds Of Heaven (SATB)

        #MM2006

        These two songs are unusual, fresh and vivid. They resonate with ideas drawn from several religious philosophies. The composer sanctions performances within the context of Christian worship as well as any philosophic tradition which values the soul. Includes harmonic overtone singing.

        The individual parts are very simple and a large and sonorous ensemble is preferred. Mixed voices a cappella.

        Recording from”Honour the Earth” CD published by Sarah Hopkins
        Performed by Canticum conducted by Emily Cox

        Simple Gifts (SSAA)

        #MM0911

        A four-part arrangement for treble voices of the traditional American folk song that concludes with the most magical and ethereal sounds!

         

        Also available for SATB

        O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

        #MM0601

        Suitable for college or church choir. A strophic setting that builds to an exciting climax. Appropriate for Advent or Christmas use.

        This setting captures the sense of longing that can be found in the text.

        My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

        #MM0603

        David Koering has arranged this traditional hymn in a somewhat “colonial” style, reflecting the origins of the beautiful melody.

        Crossing The Bar

        #MM0604

        An evocative setting of Tennyson’s text. Suitable for high school, community and church choirs.

        And Loud We Sing And Long!

        #MM0605

        This carol for Christmas manages to combine several opposing concepts. It mentions the traditional winter cold of Christmas and the summer heat which is part of the Australian Christmas experience. It also combines “scat” syllables in a style which is definitely Classical. This piece can be sung by any church or college ensemble which sings the standard repertoire of Christmas. Highly recommended!

        We Welcome Summer

        #MM0410

        A wonderful piece which welcomes “the glorious blessing of light” asking us to “pour out our darkness into the glorious forgiving light”. Would suit a good college or church choir. It could also be used as an Epiphany anthem with a difference, since Epiphany appears in the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

         

        The recording is track number 08, from The Australian Voices’ CD, “The Listening Land”. Conducted by Graeme Morton.

        Three Carols

        #MM0502

        Three simple carols for women’s or children’s choir using the medieval texts Terly Terlow, When Crist Was Born of Mary Free and I Sing of a Maiden.