|Composer Craig Phillips
Text "The Beatitudes" Matthew 5:3-12
Voicing SATB, organ
Length 4' 15" Price $2.50 (U.S.)
Catalog no. 410-518 Difficulty Difficult
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Though it is one of the most beloved texts in all of scripture, there are relatively few musical settings of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). This setting by Craig Phillips will become a favorite of choirs and congregations. The anthem opens with a plainchant-like melody, initially creating a subdued mood. The melody continues to return in ongoing transformation as the music grows in intensity to a glorious final "Alleluia," celebrating those for whom "great is the reward in heaven."
"The Beatitudes sets the entire course of blessings from Matthew 5, plus a closing Alleluia; freely melismatic lines and irregular meters help the music respond with suppleness to the text; contrasting vocal groups keep the texture varied, as do possibilities for solo-lines in the organ part (the composer leaves decisions about color for these solos to the player. The choral texture is generally homophonic. Verse 12 ('Rejoice and be glad') prompts a dynamic build-up and a jubilant conclusion--another All Saints' Sunday piece, par excellence." AAM Journal, November 2008