Preces and Responses, Set 2
Sarah MacDonald

Composer Sarah MacDonald
Text Book of Common Prayer, 1662
Voicing Two-part treble, a cappella
Topics Epiphany
Price $2.50 (U.S.)
Released 1/2020
Catalog no. 410-933
Difficulty Mod. easy

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Sarah MacDonald wrote this set of treble voice responses for her Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir with the intention that they be "easy and stress-free" (especially for use periods when the students were busy with examinations). The resulting, simple music is thus useful for upper voices in many circumstances, but most especially for beginners or when preparation time is short. The responses are largely motivic, with the same shapes and themes occurring throughout.

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"These responses are set for two equal voices, and MacDonald gives each voice opportunities to sing, and even cadence, on top of the texture. MacDonald draws from a limited number of harmonic progressions, yielding uniformity for the set and reducing the need for rehearsal time. Even inexperienced treble choirs could adopt these versicles with only modest practice. The officiant intonations are the typical formulae, and the two-part harmony is built in stable, conventional tonality. Several striking moments, such as the overlapping chains of descending thirds in 'And make thy chosen people joyful,' leave a strong impression. Although these responses are modest in their difficulty, they are far from simplistic or perfunctory. This is a strong addition to the treble repertoire for evensong."  -AAM Journal, March 2020



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