David Ashley White
Text St. 1, F. Bland Tucker; St. 2, attr. to Elizabeth I, John Donne, and others
Voicing Two-part, organ, opt. oboe/flute
Topics Communion, Redemption
Price $2.25 (U.S.)
Length 1' 40" Released 9/19
Catalog no. 410-436
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A communion anthem that is also appropriate for Maundy Thursday, Christ the King Sunday, and services focusing on confirmation and the installation of new members.
When Jesus died to save us,
a word, an act he gave us;
and still that word is spoken,
and still the bread is broken.
He was the Word that spake it,
he took the bread and brake it,
and what that Word did make it,
I do believe and take it.
St. 1, F. Bland Tucker
St. 2, attr. to Elizabeth I, John Donne, and others
"White uses the hymn text of 'When Jesus died to save us,' a combination of words by F. Bland Tucker and Tudor poetry attributed to John Donne (among others)… White offers a more emphatic tune tinged with mixolydian tendencies. The first verse divides the tune between the voices in phrase-by phrase alternation until the final phrase of both voices singing in harmony. The second verse repeats the melody in canon, then the first verse repeats with the voices in unison. A final repetition of the last phrase ends with the tune in augmentation and upper voices finishing quasi descant. White is a gifted melodist, and his tunes often shed unexpected light on the texts he chooses. His artistry is in full force here, and the music has a folk-like charm and gentle, yet unrelenting, movement. The organ accompaniment is unobtrusive, consisting mainly of left-hand chords in pendulum swings while the right hand takes turns doubling the voices and providing its own descant. The oboe line (indicated as also appropriate for flute) has an extracted part at the back of the score. Cue notes in the organ accompaniment facilitate playing if the solo instrument is unavailable." AAM Journal, April 2021