Mixed chorus, unaccompanied (divisi)
Texts: Psalms 51, 55, 102
Premiere: 2016, 2017, 2018 by Kantorei, Axel Theimer, Director
Three Psalms was written in 2014 for Kantorei, the fine Twin Cities-based chamber choir conducted by Axel Theimer. The ensemble performed one each year from 2016 to 2018. The texts are Lenten in theme and penitential in spirit, but each is ultimately uplifting and hopeful. “Create in me a clean heart” expresses a desire for renewal that leads to a gently bobbing, Ionian sea. “Wings like a dove” introduces a gently waving fugue subject that aspires to flight, but settles for repose. “Hear my prayer” repeats its petition insistently, concluding confidently that the set time is come.
TextsCreate in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Ps. 51, v. 10-12) Oh, that I had wings like a dove! Then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Ps. 55, v. 6) Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble;
incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
My heart is smitten, and withered like grass.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion, for the set time is come. (Ps. 102: v. 1-4, 6, 7, 13)