It’s almost time… what might people sing tomorrow? Or even tonight?
Easter Day tends to be a time for combining strong opinions about music people know and love with exhausted church musicians who have been at church more than home for the past week. Easter Eve, if you have a service then, is similar, but often with a smaller congregation. So while there’s plenty on the Easter page here, it can be more challenging at Easter than at some other times to make changes to “the usual” music.
This is a great shame, not least because of the role of women in the discovery that Jesus was not, as expected, in the tomb, but risen. Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s Dialogo fra Maria Magdalena details that Easter morning scene at the empty tomb in a conversation between Mary Magdalen and two angels. It’s set for SAAT and continuo, and there’s a recording on Youtube:
…okay, maybe that’s more the sort of thing for an Easter afternoon concert than your average parish Eucharist. It’s great stuff, though; do have a listen.
Judith Ward has a unison setting of “Now the Green Blade Riseth” which is thoughtfully and charmingly composed, with a piano accompaniment that supports the singers without resorting to doubling every note — and there are a couple of bars of unaccompanied voice every once in a while. It would work well for a small choir or even a solo singer, and I think the piano part would transfer well to the organ, too. It’s available from the Small Choirs International site — you’ll have to scroll down or search for it, though.
If you’re after something crunchier, Libby Larsen has an a capella Alleluia — there’s a media player of some sort in that page, which I can’t embed here. It’s published by Schirmer and there are a few pages of a perusal score.
I could go on and on here, but there are several more weeks of Easter to come and I don’t want to use everything up! So I’ll end with some organ music. Alison Willis has a set of Three Easter Chorale Preludes at Composers’ Edition, available for purchase in deadtree or download format. Here’s one of them, Paschalia, on Soundcloud: