Joyful, Joyful for mixed voices (SATB) a cappella was commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for performance upon the occasion of their 100th anniversary.
The Choirs’ centenary year also happens to be the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, so I couldn’t resist affording my work a “Beethoven connection”, albeit an oblique one, in the form of my chosen text (“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee”) which was inspired by Beethoven’s setting of “Ode to Joy” and penned by the American poet, Henry van Dyke.
Comprising one continuous movement (Vivo, crotchet = c. 176), my setting begins with fanfare-like calls and responses between high and low voices. A quieter passage ensues with sopranos and altos scored in close harmony against a moto perpetuo accompaniment of rhythmically intermingling tenor and bass voices. Thereafter, a natural crescendo is effected, leading to more fanfare-like flourishes and a concluding climax.
I extend my thanks to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for commissioning my new setting, and I wish them every success in their centenary year and beyond.– M.O.