Look, Ye Saints/Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor
William C. Witherup

Composer William C. Witherup
Texts Thomas Kelly, George Hugh Bourne
Voicing Two-part mixed choir, organ
Lectionary usage Christ the King
Topics Ascension/Reign of Christ, Communion
$2.40 (U.S.)
Length 4' 20" Released 7/99
Catalog no. 415-819
Difficulty Mod. easy

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The Welsh hymn tune, BRYN CALFARIA, forms the basis of this strong anthem by William Witherup. Both texts, "Look, Ye Saints the Sight Is Glorious" and "Lord, Entrhoned in Heavenly Splendor," are especially appropriate for Ascension and the feast of Christ the King, and the latter text also for use at communion. The work is largely in unison and two parts, and includes an extended fugal organ interlude.

Anthem texts
Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious;
see the man of sorrows now;
from the fight returned victorious,
every knee to him shall bow:
crown him, crowns become the victor's brow.

Crown the Saviour, angels, crown him;
rich the trophies Jesus brings:
in the seat of power enthrone him,
while the vault of heaven rings:
crown him, crown the Savior king of kings.

Sinners in derision crowned him,
mocking thus the Savior's claim;
saints and angels crowd around him,
own his title, praise him name:
crown him, spread abroad the victor's fame.

Hark, those bursts of acclamation!
Hark, those loud triumphant chords!
Jesus takes the highest station;
O what joy the sight affords!
Crown him, crown the King of kings, and Lord of Lords!

-Thomas Kelly

Alternate text:
Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor,
first-gebotten from the dead.
Thou alone, our strong defender,
liftest up thy people's head.
Alleluia! Jesus, true and living bread!

Here our humblest homage pay we,
here in loving reverence bow;
here for faith's discernment pray we,
lest we fail to know thee now.
Alleluia! Thou art here, we ask not how.

Paschal Lamb, thine offering finished
once for all when thou was slain,
in its fulness undiminished
shall for evermore remain.
Alleluia! Cleansing us from every stain.

Life-imparting heavenly Manna,
smitten Rock with streaming side,
heaven and earth with loud hosanna
worship thee, the Lamb who died.
Alleluia! Risen, ascended, glorified!

-George Hugh Bourne, 1874

review copy

"William Witherup gives us the option of two texts for his BRYN CALFARIA setting of 'Look, ye saints/Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor.; Both are excellent for Eastertide, but they speak most directly to the Ascension and the seventh Sunday after Easter. I must confess that I have a strong preference to the second text... Witherup's treatment of the noble Welsh tune will, of course, recall Ralph Vaughan Williams's amazing prelude, which an optional 21-measure organ fughetta in the middle of the anthem only reinforces. This is a strong, powerful addition to the small repertory of good Ascension literature." --AAM Journal, Feb. 2001

"Also from Selah is William Witherup's engaging setting of the tune BRYN CALFARIA. To widen the anthem's usability, within the choral parts are simulateniously included two texts, "Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious" and "Lord enthroned in heavenly splendor." Although designated for SATB choir and organ, it is essentially a two-part anthem: SA unison and TB unison. The first stanza is presented by unison voices. Much of the second stanza incorporates the tune in canon at the interval of one measure. Following stanza two is a well-crafted optional four-voice fughetta for organ alone based on the BRYN CALFARIA tune. A descant is included in the final stanza, providing an opportunity to have some select tenors and sopranos paired together." --The Hymn, April 2000



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