Out of your Sleep Arise and Wake

Carol setting of an anonymous 15th-century poem, for SATB choir and organ

forces: SATB Choir, Organ
duration:
2011
published by: Peters Edition

Composers' Note

This setting of a mediaeval text was privately commissioned for the Chapel Choir of Uppingham School, who gave its first performance at their carol service in Peterborough Cathedral on 9th December 2011. The brief included a specific request for a virtuosic organ part. The music generally affects to view aspects of the sound and practice of mediaeval music through a modern distorting mirror. The displaced accentuation of its relatively light and restrained opening bars sets the tone for much that follows. Regular organ interludes allow the broad lineaments of the poem’s strophic design to remain clear, but the material itself varies from verse to verse, relying for its coherence principally upon the unifying effect of the piece’s initial rhythms. Eventually the opening verse is recalled climactically and the piece ends in declamatory fashion, with choral celebration competing against toccata-like writing for the busy organist.

© Francis Pott, January 2015

Composers' Note