Look at this highly accessible and wonderful setting of an ancient text. The lower three voices work in consort for nearly the entire work. An ostinato pattern pulses below the soprano melody with few variations. Men start unison with the alto moving up and down. Measure 11 introduces an independent tenor note moving with the alto while basses remain on their pedal tone B-flat. The alto line sings against the soprano beginning at measure 13 and continuing to the final chord, punctuated by men on an open fifth.
This is a must try for any four-part choir. The repeating rhythms, related lower three voices, beautiful melody, and timeless text combine for a sure winner. The soprano line encompasses an octave with some measures sitting on a high F; other parts have diminutive ranges and are easily accomplished.
PERFORMANCE OPTIONS include the use of a tenor or soprano soloist on the soprano line with all women then following the alto part. Youth choirs and adults can sing this anthem. A keyboard reduction is included in the score that may be used to double the voices if necessary.
APPROPRIATE DAYS: Lessons and Carols Service; worship theme on the fall of humanity; and services in Advent.
AGE APPROPRIATENESS: older youth through adult
VOCAL DIFFICULTY: Average