JAMES SEYMOUR BRETT

 
 

Five Choral Pieces [2015]

 

January 2015 saw the recording of “Five Choral Pieces [2014]” commissioned and performed by The London Voices.

The work is for large ensemble and was premiered with 40 singers, conducted by Ben Parry.

The music ranges from the exultant, powerful and joyous Jubilate, to the lyricism of the Lachrimosa and Agnus Dei. Whilst most of the material is set to standard Latin texts there is a departure in the setting of an introspective and somewhat obscure hymn written by Fanny Downing entitled Sown In Tears.

 

1 – “Sown In Tears”

2 – “Lachrimosa”

3 – “Agnus Dei”

4 – “Jubilate”

5 – “Dies Irae”

Sown In Tears
Fanny Downing 1835-1894

Chill the air and hard the ground;
Not one ray of sunshine lieth;
O’er the moor, with hollow sound,
Moaning low, the cold wind sigheth.

Sower, break the stubborn soil,
Lavish in its furrows heaping;
Cease not from thy patient toil,
Sow the seed and wait the reaping.

Summer sunshine on the hill;
Birds on every green tree singing;
Shouts of joy the soft air fill,
Home the harvest they are bringing.

And the sower on the plain,
His long buried seed now finding,
Mellow heaps of ripened grain
Into golden sheaves is binding.

In the dark and narrow tomb,
Costlier seed we bury weeping,
And enwrapped in quiet gloom,
Leave it to the Master’s keeping.

To the end we cannot see,
Faith her heav’nly vision blending,
We our buried treasure greet,
Sown in tears, but reaped in glory.