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Precious Momentfor upper voices (SA) & piano
Text: English (Will Todd)
Duration: 4'30''
Difficulty: 2/5
Use: General use, Christmas

This song is the second movement of Todd's Songs of Peace, written in memory of the composer's mother, Iris Todd, who died in 2012. The text (by the composer: 'A gift so pure, life so precious, gifted to me') is intentionally ambiguous suggesting both the gift of the Christ child and less specific gift of life. This work could therefore be used as a Christmas carol as well as more generally. The first verse, with voices singing in unison, presents a contemplative and memorable melody over characteristic, jazz-inspired harmonies in the piano (or organ) accompaniment. This melody is then beautifully interwoven with a counter-melody as the voices split into two parts for the second verse.

Other movements from Songs of Peace available separately include Requiem (SATB div & piano) and Ave verum (two-part chorus & piano). Complete vocal scores of Songs of Peace are available from Boosey & Hawkes. Bass and drum parts for Songs of Peace are also available for download.

First performance: 27 May 2012 at Little St Mary’s Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, England, by the Fairhaven Singers, conducted by Ralph Woodward.

A gift so pure, life so precious, gifted to me.
Touched by your love, I am awakened in this precious moment of peace.
Wild is the storm surrounding me, but here love drives out the cold.
Precious gift of forgiveness, precious moment of peace.

I am alone, but you hold me closely to you.
Your endless love is my protection in this precious moment of peace.
Fear within and fear without, but you are the light in my dark.
Precious gift of forgiveness, precious moment of peace.

And this love is endless, endless moment of peace.

Will Todd
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.

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