Sorrow and Gladness
Composer Alice Parker
Text Gracia Grindal
Topics Christian Life, Suffering
Length 2' 40" Price $1.30 (U.S.) Released 6/98
Catalog no. 410-679 Difficulty Moderately difficult
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"Using a quiet, syncopated line, Parker begins in alternating the women's and men's music which has a folk-like quality to it. Later the women divide into three and four parts against the men. The music is organized as a set of stanzas which continue to develop. Tuneful and not difficult." --Diapason, December 1999
Alice Parker brings her wealth of skill and experience to bear on Gracia Grindal's adaptation of a 17th-century text about life's difficulties and heaven's rewards. Those familiar with this eminent composer's earlier choral settings of American folk hymns (written for the Robert Shaw Chorale) will recognize at once the appealing style of this work, scored for mixed voices a cappella, with some divisi.
Sorrow and gladness are sister and brother,
fortune, misfortune, both stand side by side,
falling and rising, they follow each other,
sunshine makes shadows and there evil hides.
Gold has no worth after our death:
lay up your treasures in heaven, not earth.
Loveliest roses grow out of the briar,
beautiful flowers grow deadliest fruit.
Under the laughter the heart may be crying,
under the joy may be grief at the root.
Deep in the rose evil may grow.
Only in heaven is life free from woe.
There will my sorrow and suff'ring be ended,
there will God grant me a crown and reward.
There will I sing and my spirit be tended.
In the sweet mansions prepared by my Lord.
Sorrow will die under God's eye:
heaven will blossom like roses on high.
--Thomas Kingo, 1681, tr. Gracia Grindal, 1983
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