Jonathan Pitkin

YE, WHO USED TO SOAR for mixed voices (2010)

Duration: 4.5 mins
Click here to see the SCORE.

The words of this choral piece are taken from John Keble’s poem St Michael and All Angels, which therefore make it particularly suitable for liturgical use on the feast day of that name; however, since its vivid imagery centres around a reference to the angels ‘thronging to adore Your God new-born’, it could also be sung as a carol.
The voices are divided into eight parts almost throughout - this enables exuberant, antiphonal exchanges, as well as webs of polyphony in which simple motifs are passed around the choir, bringing about subtle shifts in the underlying harmony. While some parts of the text are heard just once, others become the subject of more extended passages: the words of the title, for example, appear in two quite different musical settings as the piece builds towards its climax.