psalm 42

This setting of verses 1-7 and 13-14 from Psalm 42 (from the Alternative Service Book 1980) was commissioned by Rev. Keith Johnson for the Royston Parish Mission in September 1993. It is scored for a solo soprano (from within the choir), SATB choir and organ.

Set largely in a G modal minor, the anthem comprises three ideas: the organ introduction, which is stated four times throughout, with only minor variants; and two psalm chants in traditional Anglican style, one in an elegiac G modal minor, the other in a nobler Bb major (although neither chant ends in its opening key).

The verses for solo voice use melodic material drawn from harmonic elaboration of both psalm chants.

After an uplifting Gloria which utilises a minor – major juxtaposition of the two chants, the piece concludes with a triumphant extended Amen coda in a bright E flat major, with the organ reminding us of the two opening bars in the final fortissimo cadence.