Sunday, May 01, 2005

Gabriel's Message, "Once in Royal David's City"

This is another beautiful religious piece. I think this is my favorite genre of music. I love how round all the timbres and harmonies sound together. I can hear the tones filling a cathedral sanctuary. This piece begins with a solo soprano on a very long phrase that ends on a half cadence. Then she sings a parallel phrase that ends on a PAC. This is followed by very sustained and pure tones in an upper register. Then a choir comes in with tenor voices that become accompaniment to her. There is only harmony in two voices. Some of the choir voices almost sound like children. The harmony grows and gets richer and richer through density, range, and dynamics until eventually it swells with repetitive parallel periods that end in a large PAC that feels like a rising sunrise.

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