• Geoffrey Burgon
  • Hymn to St Thomas of Hereford (1981)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Vocal score for sale.

  • 22(ca)02/3230/timp.perc/str
  • Org/[timp]
  • SATB
  • 13 min

Programme Note

This work is a setting of a sequence from the Mass for the Feast of St Thomas, found in the missal of the Hereford use.

The text is a conventional hymn of praise but it is distinguished by a lively and attractive rhythm, and as this rhythm would have been lost in translation, I have set it in the original Latin.

The work is in the form of theme and variations and is characterised by a gradual crescendo throughout. It begins very quietly with solo timpani and then the choir sing the theme in unison, unaccompanied by flutes, bells, timpani and lower strings.

Variation 1 The theme is harmonised and the voices are accompanied by tutti strings.

Variation 2 The choir divides: the first choir continues with the theme whilst the tenors and basses of the second choice introduce a rising crotchet motif.

Variation 3 The horns introduce a rocking quaver motif

Variation 4 The choir is accompanied by the full brass section whilst the violas and bassoons take up the crotchet motif.

Variation 5 This is a fortissimo tutti in which all the motifs of the previous variations are brought together and in which the choir again divides.

Variations 6 This is quiet; the tenors have the theme and the sopranos and altos take up the rising crotchet motif.

The Coda (Amen) The Coda makes use of the rocking quaver motif, and the piece ends, as it began with a solo timpani.