To Every Thing there is a Season
Anthem setting of Ecclesiastes for SATB chorus with divisions, and organforces: SATB Choir, Organ
published by: Composer
The inscription at the head of this score reads as follows:
Commissioned by the Association of Anglican Musicians with a grant from the Anglican Musicians’ Association and The Crossing, Donald Nally conductor, and premiered at the opening concert of its national conference in Philadelphia, June 17, 2012. Dedicated to the greater glory of God, and in celebration of Zachary Hemingway and the Choirs of St Paul’s Chestnut Hill.
For eventual publication under terms of the composer’s contract with Edition Peters (December 2013).
The opening concert of this summer’s conference featured a commission from Francis Pott sung by the professional ensemble The Crossing. The resulting work, To Everything There is a Season, is an ambitious, widely searching piece. The concert also included his monumental setting of Samuel Crossman’s My Song is Love Unknown. Pott’s intensely chromatic, freely dissonant, and highly personal tonal style has a rugged beauty and stark authenticity. His language bears strong imprints of his training as a chorister, his career as a pianist, and his fluency in writing concert music for a wide range of instruments, ensembles, and voices. These pieces show his mastery in the handling of musical materials as well as his writing idiomatically for choir and organ. Both motets are very difficult, requiring singers of considerable skill to negotiate the challenging harmonies and chromatic melodies. To Everything There is a Season is an intensely introspective rumination on some of the darkest passages of the Hebrew scriptures. The faint optimism in the final resolution (both textual and musical) is ephemeral and unable to dispel fully the despair that permeates the score. This haunting music is deeply moving, but only on its own terms.
Jason Overall, Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians [USA], Vol. 21 no.9, November 2012