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O Sorrow Deep!

Composer David Hurd
Text trans. composite
SATB a capella
Church Season Good Friday
2' 40" Price $1.65 (U.S.) Released 2/00
Catalog no. 405-436 Difficulty Moderately difficult

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"Fortunately, our own David Hurd is present with his wonted blend of practicality and integrity. O Sorrow Deep! is a small miracle, managing to effect great sophistication with elementary means. The highly-flavored dissonances are perfectly prepared, even for amateur singers, but I suspect a choir of any level would treasure this elegant work." --AAM Journal, January 2001

"Written in memory of Donald Joyce, this is a very straightforward, short motet which captures the text with a simple eloquence. Hurd manages with incredible ingenuity and simplicity to set this text most movingly. It is simple (that is, not difficult musically, but yet straightforward both textually and muscially) with harmonies that sometimes may give choristers tuning difficulties, yet it is an easy piece to sing and most effective." --Gustav Bittrich, AAM Journal, December 2002

A brief unaccompanied motet for Good Friday. The power of this work lies in its restraint: the music is almost entirely chordal, and extremes of range and dynamics are avoided. As a result, the music has a transparent quality to it, and the occasional use of controlled dissonance produces a powerful effect.

O sorrow deep!
Who would not weep with heartfelt pain and sighing!
God the Father's only Son in the tomb is lying.
The Paschal Lamb, like Isaac's ram,
in blood was offered for us,
pouring out his life that he might to life restore us.
Blest shall they be eternally
who ponder in their weeping
that the glorious Prince of Life
should in death be sleeping.
O Jesus blest, my help and rest,
with tears I pray thee, hear me:
Now, and even unto death
dearest Lord be near me.

Traditional, tr. composite



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