for upper voices (SA with optional div) & piano
Text: English (Will Todd)
Commissioned by Anthony Cain for the singers at Downe House School, Berkshire, England.
An Earthly Blessing is a gentle reflection on the miracle of God’s arrival at Christmas. In the poem, the personal and individual nature of the Christmas story is brought out, and the music flows around the words, gradually building to the phrase ‘open my heart’. Directors should feel free to be imaginative about the distribution of the parts. In the four-part section for example, fewer vocal lines may be used if extra parts are not available. The carol can be performed using the supplied piano part or it may be embellished using the chord symbols above. Double bass may also be used in addition to piano, again following the supplied chord symbols.
On a winter’s night the world has changed for ever,
And in this moment the love of God has opened my heart;
An earthly blessing from a heavenly King.
Not in a royal house but in a place of lowliness,
He comes with angels, their voices rising in Alleluia.
The love of God is near, the light of heaven is here.
Have you come here for me? How can your love be strong enough?
I fall in wonder. My heart singing, for I have received
This earthly blessing from my heavenly King.
Will Todd is a UK-based performer and composer whose music spans a variety of styles and genres. Best known for his choral works, his 2003 jazz mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed more than eighty times since its premiere by choirs in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other notable works for choir range from large scale oratorios such as Saint Cuthbert (recorded by the Hallé Orchestra in 2002) to the anthem Stay with Me Lord, commissioned for The Sixteen. He has worked on operas and stageworks for OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House and the National Opera Studio, and his 2009 Jazz Concerto for Clarinet, written for Emma Johnson, has been performed in the UK, USA and Finland. As a performer, Will Todd leads his own Will Todd Trio from the piano and was recently an invited guest artist at the Lincoln Center in New York.