for mixed choir (SSAATTBB) a cappella
Text: English (Biblical)
Use: General, Easter
The initial soprano/alto unison D blossoms into richer harmonies, conveying John’s awe at witnessing “a new heaven and a new earth”. The tenors and basses then lead the whole choir in mourning the passing of the first heaven, earth and sea. This gives way to John’s proclamation and a choral exultation that a New Jerusalem came down from heaven, which is followed by quiet astonishment that God has prepared it for us, “as a bride adorned for her husband”. Upon the revelation that “the tabernacle of God is with men”, choral bells ring out the good news that “He shall be with them”.
Until this point, there have been several key changes and dynamic shifts to convey the vibrancy and newness of God’s Kingdom. What follows is a D major chorale which firmly establishes our new-found joy as there shall be “no more death, neither sorrow nor crying”. The work concludes with a reference to the opening musical material, but now the whole choir comes together as one to celebrate God’s majestic proclamation that He “make(s) all things new”.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.
Book of Revelation 21:1–5 (King James Version)
Welsh composer Gareth Treseder has written numerous sacred compositions alongside his work as a London-based tenor for the Monteverdi Choir, BBC Singers, RSVP Voices, and St Margaret’s Church Westminster Abbey. Recent premieres include A Safe Stronghold, a co-commission alongside Lars Schwarze for London’s Temple Church Choir to commemorate the outbreak of World War One, and a liturgical premiere of Never Weather Beaten Sail performed by the choir of St Paul’s Church K Street in Washington DC. In January 2015, a set of songs based on texts by Joseph Addison for voice and piano entitled Hope: An Addison Cycle was premiered by Eleanor Minney and James Sherlock. He has also written two arias for a new Little Rooms Productions opera: Arcana Part 2, which was premiered in Bristol Bierkeller Theatre in the same month.