Text Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Voicing SATB, a cappella
Topics Christmas, Epiphany, Lessons and Carols
Lectionary usage Epiphany
Price $2.75 (U.S.)
Length 2' 45" Released 1/2021
Catalog no. 405-302
Difficulty Mod. difficult
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"Gold and Spices" was written for Reading Phoenix Choir in 2018. The choir sings from memory and this influenced the use of patterns and repetitions within the piece, particularly the opening motif.
The text is taken from Christina Rossetti’s beautiful poem "They Have Brought Gold and Spices" (1852) which tells of the three Kings and is therefore particularly suited to carol services, Epiphany and All Saints.
The piece fluctuates between excitement at the arrival of the kings with their wondrous gifts, incense and precious stuffs and ivory and more reflective sections wondering what the singer can possibly bring instead.
"Gold and Spices" was premiered at Reading Minster (UK) by the Reading Phoenix Choir as part of their Carol Concert in December 2019.
They have brought gold and spices to my King,
incense and precious gifts and ivory;
Oh holy Mother mine, what can I bring
so that my Lord may deign to look on me?
They sing a sweeter song than I can sing,
I, bound on earth, weep for my trespassing.
They sing the song of love in heaven, set free.
Then answered me my Mother, and her voice
spake to my heart and answered in my heart:
Sing, saith he to the heavens, to earth, Rejoice!
–Christina Rossetti, 1852, alt.