O Quam Gloriosum
Bethany Ari Randall

Composer Bethany Ari Randall
Text Antiphon to the Magnificat for All Saints
Voicing SATB, organ
Lectionary usage All Saints
Price $2.75 (U.S.)
Length 4' 40" Released 10/2021
Catalog no. 415-420
Difficulty Diff.

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Bethany Ari Randall has set the Antiphon to the Magnificat for All Saints in a motet with strong textural variety: from contrapuntal intertwining to strong, pillar-like chords. She writes: "I was drawn to this text due to its double meaning. At first read, one may think of the future reigning of Christ and all the saints with him, at a time when all evil is ended and the goodness of God has visibly triumphed. However, the kingdom of God is here now, and we (the saints) are currently seeking to follow the Lamb wherever he goes. For this piece, I was influenced by medieval chant, drones, and the modes."

O quam gloriosum est regnum,
in quo cum Christo
gaudent omnes Sancti!
Amicti stolis albis,
sequuntur Agnum
quocumque ierit.

O how glorious is the kingdom,
in which with Christ
rejoice all the Saints!
Dressed in white robes,
they follow the Lamb
wheresoever he goes.

--Antiphon to the Magnificat for All Saints

review copy

Randall paints the traditional All Saints antiphon on a large canvas with bold, dramatic strokes. Treble and bass voices begin the piece in sturdy octaves with the moving bass line clashing strongly with the sustained octave D in the treble voices. The predominance of octaves begins to break down quickly into sevenths, ninths, and tenths. This resolute motion and widely spaced texture seem to indicate the eternal nature of the kingdom of the saints. Randall's harmonies are sophisticated and pose several tuning challenges, yet the consistency of the language is very convincing. The second half of the text is carried first by three-part treble voices then by three-part bass voices. The full choir rejoins for a culminating passage on 'alleluia.' This aurally-entrancing motet is best for larger advanced choirs." -AAM Journal, Nov. 2021


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