Deo Gratias!
Adam lay ybounden - David Ashley White

Composer David Ashley White
Text Sloane mss. ca 15th cent.
Voicing Two-part mixed choir, kybd.
Lectionary usage Advent, Christmas
Price $2.00 (U.S.)
Length 1' 20" Released 5/17
Catalog no. 405-200
Difficulty Mod. easy

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Anthem text
Adam lay ybounden,
bounden in a bond;
four thousand winter
thought he not too long .
And all was for an apple,
an apple he took,
as clerkés finden
written in their book.
Ne had the apple taken been,
ne had never our Lady a been
heavené queen.
Blessed be the time
that apple taken was.
Therefore we moun singen
Deo gratias! Deo gratias!

--Sloane mss., ca. 15th cent.

review copy

This energetic setting of the familiar 15th century text (often used to follow the first reading in a traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols) is largely in two mixed vocal parts, with only occasional divisi into 4-parts. The accompaniment is suitable for any keyboard instrument.

"This setting of a fifteen-century text would be a lively addition to a traditional Lessons and Carols service. While the piece may sound complex, it is mainly written in two parts and only occasionally breaks into four-part harmony. White begins the piece in unison but soon employs harmony at the ends of phrases and uses canonic techniques for the final stanza. The lively keyboard accompaniment adds rhythmic and harmonic interest to this delightful piece." --Cross Accent, Fall/Winter 2017

"David Ashley White similarly evokes a folk idiom, this time suggestive of early American tunes. His original melody unfolds over the course of the four verses, gaining complexity and greater contour interest throughout. This melodic development carries the narrative of the text with a natural sense of pacing. The two-part treble/bass texture is enriched from time to time with soprano-alto division as well as a couple of moments of tenor-bass separation. As such, the anthem is clearly intended for four voices, while remaining essentially a two-part texture....White’s characteristic laidback style infuses the setting with charm. The accompaniment would work equally well on organ or piano." --AAM Journal, September, 2018


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