An extended work, setting several Scriptural passages dealing with death, resurrection, and eternal life. Has been performed by numerous choruses, wind ensembles, and orchestras, across the US and abroad. Originally commissioned as a piece for wind ensemble and large choir, the piece has since been transcribed for orchestra and chorus, as well as brass/percussion/organ and chorus. All three instrumentations are available for sale from Hinshaw Music. All versions are compatible with the brief handbell part which is included in the choral octavo.
Full audio of the premiere (wind ensemble version) available on iTunes.
Wind Ensemble: Picc./ Flutes 1,2/ Oboe 1,2 (one doubling on E.H.)/ Bassoon 1,2/ Bb Cl 1,2,3/ Bb Bass Cl/ Bb Contrabass Cl (optional)/ Eb Alto Sax 1,2/ Bb Tenor Sax/ Eb Bari Sax/ Bb Tpts 1,2,3 (one doubling on Flugelhorn)/ F Horns 1,2,3,4/ Tbn 1,2,3/ Bass Tbn/ Tubas/ Dbl Bass/ Harp/ Timpani/ Perc 1,2,3,4,5.
Orchestra: Picc, 2 Fl (one doubling on Alto Fl), 2 Ob (one doubling on E.H.), 2 Bb Cl, 2 Bsn; 4 Hn, 3 Tpt, 3 Tbn, Tba; Timpani, 2 Percussion, Harp, Organ (optional), Strings.
Brass/Organ/Perc: 126.96.36.199, Timpani, 2 Percussion, Organ. (Separate version with 4 trumpets and no horns available; contact composer for details).
Program Notes and Text:
(May be freely copied for printed programs, papers, etc)
in paradisum…, for wind band and chorus, takes its title more from Scripture than from the liturgical “In Paradisum” Requiem movement. This setting uses a wide diversity of Scriptural texts, which, though written thousands of years apart, all speak to mankind’s burning desire to glimpse the afterlife by revealing the compassionate character and precious promises of God to His people. The opening bars present massive chords in a highly animated texture; these “pillars” not only represent the unshakeable truths which follow, but also serve as a musical basis from which most of the rest of the piece is constructed. The first main section sets “Precious in the sight of the Lord…” text, as well as “I go to prepare a place for you…”. A second section (which uses portions of Revelation) uses the flatted seventh scale degree (taken from the opening “pillar chords”) to symbolize sorrow, pain, and tears. This flatted seventh gives way, symbolically, to the raised seventh scale degree, picturing God’s tenderly “wiping away all tears”. Eventually, the “pillar chords” return, this time setting the one occurrence of the phrase “in paradise” from Scripture (Christ’s words from the cross to the dying thief) which provides a thrilling glimpse into eternity. Near the end of the piece, one more glimpse of the “tears” idea appears, but it quickly (and again, symbolically) disappears into the settled rest of the closing section, which includes a “new song”, calling from eternity “on high.”
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15)
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)
Verily, I say unto thee, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)
Tags: Major Work, Memorial, Professional/Collegiate Repertoire
Instrumentation: Percussion, Brass Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra