Required Resource: SATB choir
Optional Resource: organ
Language: English (some Latin)
Easy, yet evocative, these two Christmas anthems pair new music with familiar texts.
In A Stable Lamp Is Lighted, the poem by Richard Wilbur is given a simple SATB setting (a cappella or accompanied), almost half of which is unison singing.
The homophonic harmony breaks seamlessly from the unison, as in the recurring phrase "And every stone shall cry."
The beautiful text is one of those "prophetic" carols that leads us in our meditation beyond the creche to the cross.
There Is No Rose shows more complexity, although the touches of polyphony (a la J.S. Bach) in its eight measures should pose no problem to the average church choir.
Herein lies the efficiency of the piece — five verses are sung to these eight measures, creating a glorious five-stanza chorale.
One is duly reminded of another composer, Benjamin Britten, who set the same words in his Ceremony of Carols, truly a compliment to the fine Australian composer who produced this new seasonal diptych.
These are two easily learned anthems, good for insertion in the traditional "Carol Sing" that precedes Midnight Mass, or as "quick" pieces to sing for Epiphany, when rehearsal time might be limited.
Order #: 5131
- Choral Music
- SATB Choir
- a cappella