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for mixed choir (S solo & SSAATB) a cappella
Text: English (Biblical)
Use: General, Wedding/Civic ceremony
Prior to our rehearsal with the BBC National Chorus of Wales, Sophie Kirk-Harris and I sat in her car listening to works by Eric Whitacre. Sophie graciously requested that I write something in a similar vein for her wedding to Leigh. I gladly accepted her request. In writing Love, my intention was to breathe new life into the marital usage of text from Corinthians 13. The work opens with the chorus gradually building up tonal clusters to accompany the soprano soloist’s recitation. Her role subsequently becomes a descant as the choir expresses the text through increasingly lush chords. The musical material then inverts, allowing the tenors and basses to sing the text while the sopranos and altos accompany. The soloist’s subsequent florid decorations sit atop the choral rejoicing that “love believeth all, trusteth all, braveth all”. The final sequence is a sly wink to Whitacre’s hope, faith, life, love setting, particularly the choir’s semi-whispered treatment of “love” below the soloist’s pedal D.
"A beautifully atmospheric and quietly lush creation. The chord-cluster style is – by the composer's own admission – a 'sly' homage to Eric Whitacre, but Treseder is being unjustly modest in saying so. There is a captivating integrity to Treseder's short piece... It is a brave move to tackle this famous passage from Corinthians, but when it is done as sensitively and unfussily as this, then the endeavour is vindicated." (Jeremy Summerly, Choir & Organ, Nov 2015)
Love is patient, and is kind. Love doth not gloat, love is not proud. Love is not crude nor unseemly. Love is not quickly made angry, love seeketh not its own. Love doth not commend unrighteousness. Love rejoiceth with the truth. Love beareth all, love believeth all, love trusteth all, braveth all. But now these three remain: faith, hope, love. And the greatest of these is love.
adapted from 1 Corinthians 13: 4–7, 13
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 May 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 Michael Waldron. 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.
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