Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Chichester Psalms - Finale

The finale comes in from the third movement without interruption. The principal motives from the introduction return here to unify the work and create a sense of returning to the beginning, but here the motives are sung pianissimo and greatly extended in length.

Particularly luminous harmonies eventually give way to a unison note on the last syllable of the text, a note on which the choir then sings the amen, while the trumpet plays the opening motive one last time and the orchestra, too, ends on a unison G, with a tiny hint of Picardy third.

Again, here is the Anglicized Hebrew text which is based on Psalm 133:1:

Hineh mah tov,
Umah nayim,
Shevet ahim
Gam yahad.

English translation:

Behold how good,
And how pleasant it is,
For brethren to dwell
Together in unity.

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