Gospel according to St John, chapter 8, verses 10-11 (L)
Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven
Yale Glee Club / Jeffrey Douma
Choral level of difficulty: Level 2 (5 greatest)
Written for the Yale Glee Club, the opening tenor and bass section is unusually based on the actual plainsong melody to which these words were sung. An extended soprano and alto duet frees the voices from any such straightjacket as they play on rising intervals and ornamental devices familiar from other MacMillan works. The plainsong returns with the lower voices. The piece then develops towards another sublimely peaceful end.
As with other such MacMillan works, the biggest challenge in this piece is getting the ornamental, quasi-improvisatory music together. The rhythms, whilst not difficult, will need real choral discipline so that all the voices in one part sound as one.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer