Religious themes: Saints and Sinners
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 11:02:31 -0500
From: Patricia Romza
Subject: compilation: angels, saints, and sinners
This is the compilation of several queries for repertoire for a concert based on the above theme(s). There is a great deal of very good repertoire out there in the first two categories, but a bit less in the 'sinner' category unless one melds it into the 'seven deadly sins' as well. Some people added pieces specifically for the feast of All Saints.
There was so much stuff that I pared down to "Saints and Sinners". It was terribly difficult to choose just one program's worth!
The final program is first. I really did want to have the seredipitous connection(s) of women's voices/female saint/female saint writing about female saint/female composer and was rewarded with some little-known but lovely works and an offer to write a piece! Also, it's the first concert with our new organ, so I did want to use it, which influenced some of the choices.
Many thanks to all of you who responded.
Saints and Sinners
Sunday, November 1, 1998
Vaughan Williams/Rosenburg Sine Nomine organ
Chorale (SATB, 30 voices)
Williametta Spencer At the Round Earth¹s Imagined Corners a
René Clausen The Prayer of St. Francis piano
Grayston Ives The Canticle of Brother Sun organ
C. V. Stanford and St. Patrick¹s Breastplate organ
Richard Voorhaar Prayer of St. Patrick a cappella
(Using Voorhaar's setting for the "Christ be with me" section instead of any of the traditional ones, surrounded by Stanford for the rest.)
Vaughan Williams Festival Te Deum organ
Miriam Singers (Women, 37 voices)
Francis Poulenc Litanies à la Vierge noire organ
Hildegarde von Bingen O frondens virgo a cappella
Lana Walter Elizabeth¹s ³Ave² piano
Zoltan Kodaly Ave Maria a cappella
Naomi Stephan (if all works out!) work on Julian of Norwich's "As truly as God is our Father"
Lloyd Pfautsch Saint Bridget a cappella
Chamber Singers (SATB, 14 voices)
Randall Thompson Antiphon a cappella
Gregor Aichinger Ubi ist Abel a cappella
Thomas Weelkes When David Heard a cappella
Maurice Duruflé Tu es Petrus a cappella
Andrew Carter Dives and Lazarus organ
Henry Purcell Remember Not, O Lord, Our Offences a cappella or organ
John Ness Beck A Hymn to God the Father piano
Gabriel Fauré Cantique de Jean Racine piano
Walter Ehret Sinner Man piano
arr. Robert DeCormier Plenty Good Room/Set Down, Servant piano
Jack Halloran Witness a cappella
arr. John Rutter Beautiful River ("Shall We Gather") organ
Vaughan Williams' "Sine Nomine" (For All the Saints) was the most recommended work. I found the arrangement I was looking for (listed first below) via a query on Choralist, but other arrangements were recommended as well.
Sine Nomine, Vaughan Williams, arr. Earl Rosenberg
catalogue no. CM 6637
Carl Fischer, Inc.
>From the footnotes:
"The arrangement is also published for male voices with piano (CM 7282); these
arrangements (if sung one half step higher) may be used with band arrangement
(J558) and/or orchestra arrangement (PO187), both by Bruce Houseknecht. An
orchestral arrangement of the accompaniment by Miles Dresskell, in the key of
G is available on rental."
Dr. Thomas Hodgman Hodgman(a)aol.com (And Robert Ross also remembered the piece from my description.)
For all the Saints, Vaughn Williams, arr. Shaw/Parker
Re "For All the Saints": I think the descant you are looking for is written by Lois Fyfe
of Lois Fyfe Music in nashville, TN. It is in volume 1 of the
CHRIST CHURCH DESCANT BOOK originally published by Jimmie Vester
in Nashville. I think Lois did the reprint. I don't have a copy
with me at this writing, but it sounds familiar. Lois can be
reached at 1-800-851-9023 or 615-298-5231.
I may be wrong, but. . . . give it a try.
O Quam Gloriosum, Vittoria
O How Glorious, Healey Willan
Howard Helvey, arr. "Saints Bound for Heaven",
"very nice and challenging piano part, and a kind of early-American feel to it." From
Beckenhorst, I think.
Greg Lapp, "Carry Me", brosscom publications
It would be a great "sinner" tune. The text is brilliantly
inclusive, but can be taken as religious as the individual would like. It is
Greg Lapp Lappers2(a)aol.com
The propers and appropriate music for All Saints Day are so wonderful, why not
Lee Hoiby's "At the round earth's imagined corners" is a splendid setting of
the (Donne?) text on death and sanctification. Snarly organ accompaniment.
There are many, many settings of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11), which is the
Gospel for All Saints in the Episcopal lectionary. There is a fine one by
either Schein or Scheidt, which I got out of the Opera Omnia a couple of years
ago; if you are interested, let me know and I'll track it down.
Blow Ye the Trumpet by Kirke Mechem (ECSchirmer?)
Valediction by David Conte (ECSchirmer)
Give us the wings of faith by Ernest Bullock (Oxford)
Beati quorum via by C.V.Stanford (Boosey & HAwkes)
For He shall give his angels (from Elijah) -Mendelssohn
Morning Trumpet arr Alice Parker (Hal Leonard)
Peter DuBois PADroch(a)aol.com
This may not work in the context of your program, but if you want a great
piece on Angels, you should do Britten's "The Company of Heaven" some time.
It is about 35 minutes long, a pastiche of poetry/scripture and some
unbelievably great musical settings by Britten, for chorus, tenor and
soprano solo, strings, organ and timpani.
For women's voices, Michael Hurd wrote "Three Saints in One". I can only remember St. Cecilia from the set, but they were nice. Novello.
Lloyd Pfautsch, "Saint Bridgit", Lawson Gould.
Daniel Pinkham, "Angels are Everywhere", ECS. This is a set which had two delightful movements; one about the wives of the three kings who are left behind when their husbands travel to Bethlehem. The other reflects on the monks who ponder that old question, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin"?
Monica J. Hubbard mhubbard(a)caltech.edu
Steven Paulus: For All Saints. a work about 12? minutes long for SATB
and organ ---difficult, but very well crafted. Great texts.
Glenn Giuttari www.harpsichord.com
Jacobus Gallus - Zwei der Seraphim (also available in Latin version 'Duo
Monika Fahrnberger (cat(a)eimoni.tuwien.ac.at)
Argento, Masque of Angels - Boosey & Hawkes
David Griggs-Janower janower(a)csc.albany.edu
SSATBB a cappella work by Vaclav Nelhybel called
"The Devil and The Farmer's Wife." It's product number is FCC02603
by Warner Bros. (Franco Colombo). It is used by all-state and region choir
festivals all over.
Bob Dingley Bob_Dingley(a)warnerchappell.com
I have composed a "Pie Jesu" published by Lorelei Music for SATB choir,
soprano solo and optional oboe obligato. It is stunningly beautiful.
Performance time: app. 3-1/2 minutes.
Arlen Clarke lorelei(a)rivnet.net
(Patricia's note: A very lovely piece that just didn't fit with everything else. I recommend it.)
ON TEXTS BY SPECIFIC SAINTS:
There is a setting of the Prayer of St. Francis by Andrew Carter,
goes by the title "Prayer of Peace," published by Oxford. I have not
done it, but it looks to me to have a slight-but-tasteful pop flavor,
or maybe a little better than that. I think it would probably be
more fun than Olive.
Jack Burnam wdfh78a(a)prodigy.com
I think there's something out there from Greenwood press of Sta. Teresa
- I'm working on something from Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz.
>>>2) the hymn "St. Patrick's Breastplate" other than Libby Larson's
(too hard for my students);
I'd suggest taking the setting out of Hymns Ancient & Modern Revised
(Stanford, I think it was) it is a chorally-conceived hymn-style setting
for organ and choir/congregation. Way simple.
>>>3) the canticle "Cantemus Domino", which appears in the Episcopal BCP
as "The Song of Moses," appointed for Easter Vigil;
I think there's a setting by Allen Orton Gibbs - I forget the publisher
>>>4) the "Prayer of St. Francis" which begins, "Lord, make me an
instrument of thy peace"
Gerald Near's (Aureole edition) - it's not really simple as all that,
but man, is it tasty.
>>>5) any text associated with a particular saint (for instance, we're
doing the RWV Te Deum in D for SS. Ambrose and Augustine, the Magnificat
[haven't settled on a short one yet - Bsuggestions?] for the Virgin
There are any number of settings of St. Paul (I Cor 13, especially)
Try the Tallis short service Mag, or, if you're up for it, the Pinkham
Festival Mag (& Nunc)
>>>Also, really good 'sinner' songs, other than spirituals, are
apparently not in the forefront of people's minds. Any more suggestions
along that line would be appreciated as well!
Anything Goliardic - for the "other side of the story"
Howard Burkett hpb(a)hotmail.com
Since I am on Choralist, I saw your request for choral music relating to
Hildegard, Julian, and other women saints. Your list of restrictions
suggests that perhaps you have already seen my contributions to this body
of choral music, and indeed many of my Hildegard-related motets have
extremely low bass parts. However, I have written a few things which a
number of "more normal" choirs have found quite useful, so I will mention
them as suggestions:
"O Verbum Patris" which is the first in The Hildegard Motets. The
bass note is an E, however, all the sections have divisi at some point.
It requires a soloist which I have designated as a counter-tenor, but some
choirs have used a plain, old tenor singing in falsetto, and it works well
"O frondens virga" which is the sixth of the Six Marian Motets. The
lowest bass note is an F, and there are no divisi passages. It's a
Hildegard text in praise of the Virgin Mary, so it relates to two women
saints at once.
"Motet for the Annunciation" which is the third of the Six Marian
The bass part is rather high in this piece-- really more of a baritone
part. This motet has been used by college choirs and amateur church choirs
without any difficulty. The text is an English translation of an Eastern
Orthodox text in praise of Mary.
The other motets in the Six Marian Motets cycle may interest you as
but the bass lines sometimes go down to E-flat or even D-flat, and that may
be too low for your basses. My soprano lines rarely go above an A. The
Six Marian Motets were written for a church choir of 8 singers, so there is
rarely any divisi in those pieces.
If you have already seen these motets and have decided not to use them,
that's fine. However, if you have not seen them, and if you are
interested, they are available from E. C. Schirmer (now ECS Publishing) in
Good luck in your search for new music!
--Frank Ferko dahling(a)merle.acns.nwu.edu
(Patricia's note: Super pieces; I didn't program them because all my bass II's graduated last spring!)
The music press I work for, Treble Clef Music Press, is publishing a
Hildegard von Bingen piece for treble voices, unison; title is "O frondens
virga (O branch, coming into leaf)". It's simple and lovely.
Here's the catalog description:
This new edition of Hildegard's antiphon places it in its liturgical
context, pairing it with a plainchant "Magnificat" (included in this
edition by William Flynn). The reprise of the antiphon has an optional
added voice in organum, reflecting medieval performance practice. Latin,
with full translation and historical and performance notes. Easy-medium.
That would take care of a Hildegarde text and a Magnificat in one piece!
If you'd like a copy, please let me know.
Treble Clef Music Press
Vaughan-William's setting of the Mag and Nunc in C Major is quite nice and
not too hard--some unison. I think Curwen is the publisher but am not
Britten's "Hymn to St. Columba" and "Hymn to St. Peter" are good works
though challenging. Any setting of the Ave Maria, Vittoria for example,
fit the Virgin Mary. There are bushels of Renaissance works for Mary and
I have a short introit that might qualify as a "sinner" piece. It's a
cappella, chant-like at the beginning of several phrases, and requires that
both the men and women be able to divide into parts for the first two
phrases. My publisher is trying to talk me into making a version that
doesn't divide, but I am loathe to do that.
The text is by William Drummond (1585-1649) and is as follows (sorry it's a
bit male-oriented, but I kind of like it that way):
Saviour of mankind, man Emanuel,
Who sinless died for sin, who vanquisht hell
The first fruits of the grave,
whose life did give Light to our darkness,
in whose death we live,
O strengthen thou my faith, correct my will,
That mine may thine obey;
protect me still,
So that the latter death may not devour
My soule seal'd with thy seal;
so in the hour When thou whose body sanctified thy tomb,
Unjustly judg'd, a glorious judge shalt come
To judge the world with justice,
by that signe I may be known, and entertain'd for thine.
My publisher is of the buy one-copy as many as you please variety (which I
also like). I think he would send you a copy to look at if you request:
Masterworks Press, 800-300-9229 or MSTRWRKS(a)AOL.COM
You might also consider requesting a copy of my Mag and Nunc if you ever
have use for those texts.
Kathryn Smith Bowers
I believe Jane Marshall set the prayer of St. Francis rather beautifully
for SATB in a rather easy compsition. Sorry , I don't know the publisher
In the Oxford Book of Easy Anthems you will likely find several pieces that
could meet your criteria. Among them is a wonderful two-part song entitled
" The Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester." Be sure to check it out.
As far as '"sinner" songs, there is an old American Hymn whose text begins
"I am a sinner poor and needy." I'm afraid I can't recall the tune name.
Well, I don't recall what length concert you were looking for, or
the level of your students, but the following things come to mind...
| 1) texts by Hildegarde of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, or
| other female saints;
There's William Mathias's "As truly as God is our Father" (Julian).
There should be plenty of St. Cecelia texts; e.g., by Britten and
| 2) the hymn "St. Patrick's Breastplate" other than Libby Larson's (too ha
| rd for my students);
There's always the C. V. Stanford harmonization, which can be done
with verses split between high/low/unison voices. I have a record
with the choir of Belfast Cathedral doing this, with the "Christ be
with me" verse set to the tune "Gartan" -- this combo is in the New
English Hymnal, and should really shake up the Episcopalians who
think Deirdre is the One True setting for that verse!
| 5) any text associated with a particular saint (for instance, we're doing
| the RWV Te Deum in D for SS. Ambrose and Augustine, the Magnificat [have
| n't settled on a short one yet
An obvious pairing with a Magnificat is a Nunc dimittis, for St.
Simeon. Have you heard the Mag & Nunc in G by Herbert Sumsion?
Together not especially long or difficult, and quite tuneful.
I'm fond of a setting of Psalm 65 by Francis Grier as a commission for
a St. Cuthbert festival. Not for the faint of heart, though, and you
should probably have an organ with lots of low end to go with the
creatures of the deep. (Whether you try performing it or not, I
recommend listening to the recording made by the Rodolfus Choir
directed by Ralph Allwood, *not* the one made by Durham Cathedral).
There's "Factum est silentium" for St. Michael, by Peter Philips --
a good deal easier.
| Also, really good 'sinner' songs, other than spirituals, are apparently n
| ot in the forefront of people's minds. Any more suggestions along that l
| ine would be appreciated as well!
Hmm, how about a Miserere setting? I seem to recall a Lotti, but I may
be confusing it with another text. Also, there's the 3-section Brahms
piece, which opens with "Create in me a clean heart" (Schafe in mir)
and "O cast me not away from thy presence" in the middle -- can't
remember the German title, but it's got some anguished chromaticism.
Good luck. I'll look forward to seeing the final program posted.
I have an SSA, St. Patrick's Breastplate written by Dr. David Clemensen of
Irvine, CA. It is only three part. Rather simple. A cappella.
Greg Lapp Lappers2(a)aol.com
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, could I suggest you take a look at
my setting of the Prayer of St Francis, published by OCP (1-800 LITURGY)
Edition no 7201. Let me know if you find it too "pop". It does have one
vague reminiscence of Lloyd Webber in it, but most people would never
- Paraclete Press, Orleans MASS, publishes "Two Motets after Julian of
Norwich" Opus 208 by Peter Pindar Stearns. These are for SATB a cappella. I
can't recall if they split. I've not sung these, but I've sung other works by
this composer and I liked them.
- If you find anything setting the texts of Teresa of Avila, let me know.
I've been hunting to no avail.
- As for Hildegard- there are several SATB settings, as well as her original
chants, of course!. Frank Ferko has written a cycle of a cappella SATB
settings of Hildegard's texts. These are published by ECS Schirmer. They are
beautiful, but not slam-dunk easy. Paraclete Press also publishes Caritas
Abundant by Randall Giles for SATB and organ. Gorgeous, but also of medium
difficulty (not rhythmically, but lots of clusters). Hildegard Publishing in
Bryn Mawr PA has several of the chants of Hildegard published- if you can't
find "easy" SATB settings you may want to consider a unison performance of her
orginal chants. They are so wonderful. (Not to split hairs, but Hildegard
has never been officially canonized by the RC Church).
>2) the hymn "St. Patrick's Breastplate" other than Libby Larson's (too hard
>for my students);
Sure, ECS Schirmer publishes St. Patrick's Breastplate by Charles V. Stanford.
SATB and organ. Again, I've not sung it, but Stanford is usually quite
>5) any text associated with a particular saint (for instance, we're doing the
>RWV Te Deum in D for SS. Ambrose and Augustine, the Magnificat [haven't
>settled on a short one yetãsuggestions?] for the Virgin Mary).
-Magnificats- If you would prefer to sing in English and want something fairly
easy, look at the a cappella version for two antiphonal choirs by Christopher
Tye, a Tudor composer (Tudor? Or Elizabethan? My ignorance is showing). I
would check to see if Oxford University Press publishes it. It is simple SATB
throughout for canoris and decanti choirs (but honestly, you could do it
straight through with just one choir).
- Hildegard wrote a tribute to St. Maximus - "Columba aspexit". She also
wrote several pieces in tribute to St. Ursula - "O Ecclesia" comes to mind.
At least one of her pieces praises St. Rupert, if I recall. It would be nice
to wrap up two in one, wouldn't it, and sing one of Hildegard's pieces that
praise a saint!
I'm sure there are more in the vast Renaissance repertory! What has
Palestrina or all those Tudor composers written for All Saints Day???? I'll
have to check my anthem books from OUP.
>Also, really good 'sinner' songs, other than spirituals, are apparently not
in the forefront >of people's minds. Any more suggestions along that line
would be appreciated as well!
-Well, Kassia (9th C Byzantine) wrote a lament by Mary Magdalen, one of the
most famous sinners of all times, right? It's a chant so it would be sung in
unison with some vocal drones. I'm not sure if Hildegard Press publishes it
in their collection of Six Stichera by Kassia... otherwise I'm drawing a
blank myself about sinners.
Jo Scheier JOSCHEIER(a)aol.com
Try Robert Young's Magnificat, published by Walton, I'm pretty sure
(if not, it's Gentry).
Barrie Cabena has a really lovely Prayer of St. Francis, published by
Canada, probably by Gordon Thompson or Jaymar.
St. Patrick's Breasplate. . . there is a very
accessible anthem called I SING AS I ARISE TODAY which I believe
Joseph Clokey did years ago, published by Concordia. I have a
copy at church and all the info is not handy at this time. Look
for something under this title and see what you come up with. If
not, let me know and I'll share a copy with you. (Patricia: yes, it's permanently out of print.)
I have a setting of Hildegard's *De Spiritu Sancto* which is going to be
performed by the Seattle Pro Musica this fall and which is recorded by Voces
Novae et Antiquae on the Arkay release entitled *The Gregorian Heritage* (AR
6145); it's for SATB div, but the divisi is only in the last two bars. (My
chamber singers at Franklin & Marshall College did it this semester.) Also
check out William Mathias' *As truly as God is our Father* (OUP), on a text by
Julian of Norwich. If you have an excellent soprano soloist, check out *Muero
Porque No Muero* on a text of St. Teresa of Avila by Gian Carlo Menotti (G.
Schirmer); the chorus part is very short and at the end, & the piece sounds
very much *unlike* typical Menotti.
> 2) the hymn "St. Patrick's Breastplate" other than Libby
> Larson's (too hard for my students);
There's always the C.V. Stanford SATB anthem on this (Stainer &
Bell/Galaxy/ECS), though it can be interminable unless done *very* well.
>4) the "Prayer of St. Francis" which begins, "Lord, make me an >instrument of
thy peace" (have Grotenhuis and Pote in my >single-copy files, both of which
are too 'pop' for my taste for >these ensembles, will do Olive Dungan's if I
can't find one I
Luigi Zaninelli did a decent one of this text published by Shawnee quite a few
years back; it's probably long out of print, but I may have a copy on me
through which you could write them for reprint permission. Did Rutter do one
> 5) any text associated with a particular
> saint (for instance, we're doing the RWV Te Deum in D for
> SS. Ambrose and Augustine, the Magnificat [haven't
> settled on a short one yet?suggestions?] for the Virgin
How 'bout the Paert Magnificat? Or, you could go with one of the
liturgical/evensong settings (as in Mag & Nunc pairings) of which there are a
myriad, e.g., Stanford again (4 of 'em), Rutter (characterized by some as the
"5th Stanford setting"), RVW, Howells (several, probably all Novello), also
Tavener (Chester/Music Sales)--the Collegium Regale Mag incorporates a refrain
from the Orthodox liturgy--it's recorded on the Angel/EMI CD *Ikos* by King's
College/Cleobury (along with the Paert Magnificat). Or, how about excerpts
from the Rachmaninoff (or even Tchaikovsky) *Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom*?
(The Tchaikovsky is easier; both are available through Musica Russica).
As for "sinner" pieces, how about some selected choruses from *Carmina
Burana*? Alternatively, the Chester Books of Madrigals (8 of 'em) are grouped
by subject matter (e.g., Smoking & Drinking, Desirable Women, etc.); surely
something sinful ought to be contained therein.
Robert Ross RobertamR(a)aol.com
I know you don't want "pop" music, but why not include the song
"Saints and Sinners" by Carlton Young since it's right on your theme.
Contact Agape/Hope Publishers for particulars.
Take a look at "Prayer of St. Francis" by Barrie Cabena, in G.V.
Thompson's Festival Singers series, E.I. 1037. SATB, some divisi of
both men and women, chant-like with wonderful harmonies (all
homophonic), and easy baritone and soprano solo sections.
Susan Marrier smarrier(a)flash.lakeheadu.ca
I have, in recent years, conducted "Prayer of St. Francis" settings by
Arthur Bliss and Imant Raminsh. Both were challenging, but beautiful in
different ways. I highly recommend them.
The "Prayer of St. Francis" sung at Princess Diana's funeral is the
one by Sebastian Temple ("Make me a channel of your peace" is the
opening text). GIA or OCP may have choral settings.
On our Celtic Celebration concert several years ago, we processed in to
St. Patrick's Breastplate. We very simply preceeded the melody with two
double-measures of open-fifth drone ("vroomm," closing quickly to the "mm")
and continued with that as underscoring to the melody--all just using the 1980
hymnal as a guide. As simple as it was, it was actually quite effective.
Deborah Simpkin King, PhD DSKSing(a)aol.com
God Send Thy Sword - Ron Nelson
And from a request on the IAWM list for possible settings of texts by/on female saints for female voices by female composers to round out the program, the following replies:
Although what I describe here does not exactly fit your description
of your needs, I thought you might like to see my "Seven Deadly Sins" - a
multi-part choral work for SATB, SATB soloists and piano, from which you
might extract something to fit your program. If you'd like to see a
perusal copy, please let me know.
Sylvia Glickman sglickman(a)hildegard.com
It was recently mentioned on this list [IAWM] that Rebecca Clarke's "Ave Maria"
was just published by Oxford University Press. It is not long and not
difficult. I have been doing Clarke reserach for a long time and am
please that her estate is finally making some of her choral music
I have been working on a piece set to a text of Hildegard O Virtus Sapientie (
i have written two others to text of hers as well, but they are rather more
complicated) .Virtus is for SSA and marimba and vibraphone.
Naomi Stephan NIStephan(a)AOL.COM
(Patricia: It looks like Naomi is going to write for my women a setting of Julian's "As truly as God is our Father"; hooray!)
Ana Hernandez has written a setting of the words of Theresa of Avila
entitled "No Body But Yours" for SSA which The Lady Chapel Singers sang at
the Triennial of the Episcopal Church Women held in Philadelphia last
summer. It is quite lovely and not difficult. She can be reached at
ahernandez(a)dfms.org. She has also written a chant setting of a text from
Julian of Norwich. Sharon Hershey
Lisa Neufeld Thomas
Patricia: Anna Rubin (airubin(a)princeton.edu ) was kind enough last year to send me a copy of her work for the Urban Sky Consort, "Hildegarde's Prologue," for six female voices. A terrific piece; I just though it a bit beyond my women at this point so early in the year and with many of them being freshmen (freshwomen? freshpersons?).
Happy music making!
Patricia Romza, D.M.A.
Director of Choral Activities
St. Ambrose University
518 West Locust Street
Davenport, IA 52803