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Starfare: The Night Went Wild with Angels

Composer Thomas Pavlechko
Text John Core
Voicing
SSAATTBB, opt. organ
Topics Christmas
Length
1' 10" Price $2.00 (U.S.) Released 6/05
Catalog no. 405-206 Difficulty Moderately difficult

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Review
"This piece is aimed at the extroverted side of Christmas, as the opening stanza of John Core's text may suggest:

The night went wild with angels,
a storm of words and wings,
a thundering of voices,
a surge of heavenly strings,
a gale of midnight music
that broke the starry chill,
with trumpetings of God's peace
and fanfares of goodwill.

After an opening blast of the trumpet, divided women present this first stanza, in a vigorous 6-8 meter regularly visited by its relative, 3-4. After another quick dose of trumpet fanfare, divided men sing similar music for stanza 2 (only the third phrase differs substantively). More fanfare, and all join forces, again repeating much the same music as before for stanza 3. (The suggested registrations presume 3 distinct trumpet sounds; other realizations are clearly feasible!)" --AAM Journal, October 2006

Description
Full of energy, this joyful setting of John Core's remarkable Christmas poem alternates between 6/8 and 3/4. The divisi in all parts consists largely of octaves doublings, allowing even smaller or less experienced choirs to produce a full, rich sound. The optional organ fanfares which punctuate the work add much to its overall effect.

Anthem text
The night went wild with angels,
a storm of words and wings,
a thundering of voices,
a surge of heav’nly strings,
a gale of midnight music
that broke the starry chill,
with trumpetings of God’s peace
and fanfares of goodwill.

The sky was split with starshine,
a blaze across the height,
a silent flame of witness,
a watchfire in the night,
a bolt of frozen lightning
that beckon’d kings to see
in brightness of its rising
incarnate Mystery.

The sound and silence mingl’d,
the dark and light entwined,
and swaddled in a stable
the hope of humankind;
the singer of the nightsong
has strain’d t’ward infant speech,
and human hands stretch’d upward
find stars beyond their reach.

Text: John Core
© 2005 Wayne Leupold Music, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Download a review copy of this anthem
A .pdf (Portable Document Format) file of this publication may be downloaded so that you may review it on your computer screen or print it out and review it at your leisure (this requires that you have a copy of Adobe® Acrobat Reader® 3.0 [or later] on your computer). Click on the music below or on this link to download the entire score (of course, this is for review only, and may not be copied in any form), or get your copy of the free program Acrobat Reader by clicking on the logo below.

 

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