for mixed choir (SATB with divisi) a cappella
Text: English (Becky McGlade)
Duration: 6 minutes
Use: Environment, Global Warming
This piece was commissioned by Nick Hart of the Cornwall based choir Canoryon Lowen, for Sing Eden!2020, a music festival with environmental issues as its central theme.
The health of the planet is clearly a global priority and concern. The gravity of the situation is reflected in the opening of the piece with its slow, nostalgic setting of the words ‘Paradise lost’. However, the text becomes more optimistic as the piece progresses, speaking of the glory of creation and the hope of paradise restored if we will fulfil our responsibility to care for it. This positivity is conveyed in the music, particularly at the climax of the piece where the upward rising melody sets the words ‘we can overcome’. There are many speed and time signature changes in the piece, but there should always be a feeling of flowing, forward movement.
It just melted away,
Into rivers and oceans of factory rain.
Look what we’ve done to the landscapes of glory.
But we can overcome,
When at last we can see this is greater than us,
For we are only stewards of creation.
Oh the glory of creation!
Turning mirrors to windows, the future we see
Is a world in agreement:
This is greater than us,
This is greater than me.
The earthquakes now nearer,
The skies tumble down;
Homes, once a shelter
Lie under the ground;
But out of the shadows there stirs a sound:
We can overcome,
Yes, we can overcome,
When at last we can see this is greater than me,
We’ll see Paradise found.
Becky was born in 1974 and grew up in Cornwall. She studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London, and after graduating, returned to Cornwall where she now leads a busy musical life as a composer, cellist, and piano and cello teacher. Becky developed a love of singing at an early age and her interest in sacred choral music grew during her time as a member of the Royal Holloway Chapel Choir. She now composes mainly choral music and draws much of her inspiration from her Christian faith. Her works, which include psalm settings, carols, and settings of other texts, biblical and secular, are written in a recognisable, engaging and personal style. Becky’s setting of Christina Rossetti’s poem In the bleak midwinter has become very widely performed following its premiere recording by Truro Cathedral Choir, broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and publication by Boosey & Hawkes. She has also written numerous songs for solo voice and works for string ensembles.