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Ruth Byrchmore

Publisher: Novello & Co

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila (2010)
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
5 Minutes
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  • Ensemble
    BBC Singers
    Stephen Farr, organ/piano
    Paul Brough
  • Ensemble
    The Sixteen
    Harry Christophers
The mystical poetry of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross exudes an intense aroma of visionary devotion, emotionally charged to a degree that is often quasi-erotic. Ruth Byrchmore resists the temptation to offer these texts similarly lavish musical treatments, cutting right through to the very core of their meaning with deceptively simple music that complements the authors’ humility and submission to their spiritual journey. The eight meditative lines of the Prayer of St Teresa of Avila is given an a capella setting that captures both a sense of the serenity of the true believer, waiting on Godm and, in the central con moto section, the very human urgency that requires a ‘sign’. The music is unchallenging: every part divides occasionally but there is a lack of complication that is utterly apt. Composed for professional singers, the test for the many amateur groups that wil surely want to sing it will be to communicate its devotional focus through legato word-production.
Rebecca Tavener, Organists' Review,3/1/2012
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