Like as the Hart is my response to Herbert Howells’s famous setting of this Psalm paraphrase. I have always been obsessed with the length of Howells’s melodies and the way that the harmonies trail behind the tunes like halos. In my version, I invert this relationship, with massive elongated harmonies dragging melodic fragments behind them. I arranged the harmonies in a large arch form with shrinking and expanding rhythms on either side of the central point (on the word “God.”)
(c) Nico Muhly
Like as the Hart - Text
Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks,
so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?