Anna, Surprised – a new piece for Candlemas

Premiered 2nd Feb 2020, St Andrew’s Church, Denver, conducted by Tim Kreuger – listen below!

This piece was inspired by Euan Tait‘s wonderful new poem about Anna and Simeon at Candlemas, below:

Anna consumed by song,
prophet who had not seen
how wing-sweep and strange
the holy is, the Divine
a baby given, presented
like any little child; Anna,
sharpened by laughter
and rough-edge awareness,
surprised, swept up
in Simeon’s reckless ecstasy,
that this Child was the end,
the final wisp of the smoke
of all his prayers, the light
to lighten the human heart
and God’s final yes to his life,
yes, you may now depart, run
to your wild-water Amen.

(Euan has also written libretti for composers including Kim Andre Arnesen, Timothy Tharaldson, Paul Spicer, and many more.)

Download a sample copy of the choral score

Download a sample with piano reduction added

Hear a demo recording (made with MIDI)

Difficulty: the piece is for SATB choir a cappella (although I’m happy for it to be performed with a light doubling on piano or organ if needed), with some easy 2-part divisi plus a short soprano solo (minimum numbers 3-2-2-2 to get all the notes, would probably work fine 2 to a part if you omit the soprano 1’s D in bar 11; I imagine it with 4-10 per part). It contains several chords with added notes, but very few strong or sustained dissonances or tricky jumps, and could be learned by ear if needed; any music-reading choir should have no problem with the notes.

Price: £2 per printed copy, or £25 for a PDF if you would like to print your own copies.

Choral ranges:
soprano – middle C to high G
alto – G below middle C to C above middle C
tenor – E below middle C to F above middle C (quite a few sustained high Es)
bass – first, low A to middle C; seconds, low G to middle C