The Appleton Motets
Carson P. Cooman

Composer Carson P. Cooman
Texts Various scripture passages
Voicing Two-part (S.A. or T.B)
Scripture references Psalm 27:1; Matthew 6:19-20; Mark 13:35-37; John 14:27; Ephesians 5:8-9
Price $3.50 (U.S.) Released 8/10
Catalog no. 410-538
Difficulty Mod. easy/Mod. diff.

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Description
Though popular in the Renaissance, the genre of two-part unaccompanied voices has seen very little activity in recent years. Cooman reinvigorates this tradition with these accessible two-part motets, which may be sung by either two-part women's/treble voices or men's voices. Each sets a familiar scripture passage: Peace I Leave with You (John 14:27); Treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20); The Lord Is My Light (Psalm 27:1); Watch, Therefore (Mark 13:35-37); Children of Light (Ephesians 5:8-9). They are are useful as anthem repertoire when featuring a subset of the choir and may also be used as vocal duets.

Review
"Five two-part motets set to familiar scripture passages make up this superb collection. Obviously intended for either treble or men's voices, the motets can also be used as vocal duets. They are ideal for getting the choir to listen to each other and to concentrate; there is nothing to distract them but the other part. I think choirs will particularly like 'Treasures in Heaven' (Matt. 6:19-20) with its ostinato passing between voices, but all provide a welcome break from accompanied four-part singing." -The American Organist, March 2011

"This is a group of five fairly brief unaccompanied duets flexibly scored for trebles, women, or men. They are based on short scriptural texts for a variety of occasions (two are best suited to the season after Epiphany, one to Eastertide, and one to 'stewardship-tide'; the fourth of the set is based on Jesus' admonition to keep watch in March 13--hence my mention of the set here, for Advent). The pieces don't readily lend themselves to categorization but the writing is generally non-imitative counterpoint, with mostly simultaneous text-declamation; one piece employs an ostinato, and half of another is built on drones. Their use with children might be a challenge, since some of the alto parts descend well below the treble staff (to an F, in one case), but their freestanding, unaccompanied nature would have some appeal to children, I think, as well as to more mature singers." --AAM Journal, October 2010

Texts

I. Peace I Leave with You
Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you;
not as the world gives

do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 (RSV)

II. Treasures in Heaven
Do not lay up for yourselves
treasures on earth,
where moth and rust consume

and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven,

where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves
do not break in and steal.

Matthew 6:19–20 (RSV)

III. The Lord Is My Light
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1 (RSV)

IV. Watch Therefore
Watch therefore—for you do not know
when the master of the house will come,

in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow,
or in the morning—lest he come suddenly

and find you asleep. And what I say to you
I say to all: “Watch.”

Mark 13:35–37 (RSV)

V. Children of Light
For once you were darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord;

walk as children of light;
for the fruit of light is found
in all that is good and right and true.

Ephesians 5:8–9 (RSV)



 

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