Listen: Praise One

Performed By: Baylor Choral Union, Dr. Donald Bailey and John McLean conductors; and the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Heyde, conductor

SSAATTBB chorus, SATB chorus favori, orchestra: 2 flute (piccolo), 2 Bb clarinets, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 Bb trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), tuba, 3 percussion, timpani, piano/celeste, strings

Text: Excerpted from Psalms 146, 147, 148, and 150 and compiled by Libby Larsen

Duration: 15 minutes

Commissioned By:
Baylor University School of Music in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the awarding of music degrees by Baylor University

April 29, 2004 by Baylor Choral Union and the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Heyde, conductor, at Jones Concert Hall, Baylor University School of Music, Waco, TX

Available From:
Oxford University Press, rented by C.F. Peters

Composer's Notes:
“God and I are One. Now I am what I was and I neither add to nor subtract from anything, for I am the unmoved Mover that moves all things.”

— Meister Eckhart

Program Note
Exactly what is Unity? A spiritual quest? A philosophical practice? A mathematical reality? All these things and more, certainly, the concept of Unity lies at the heart of western being, inspiring our religious, political, and domestic lives.

Praise One, for chorus chor favori and orchestra, takes its text from Psalms 146 through 150. The piece is a celebration of the One: God. The form is consists of four continuous but interlocking sections. Beginning with a horn solo, section one is an expansive hymn. Following this the music becomes rhythmic and syncopated. Here, in section two, the two choirs call out banners of praise, answering each other by exclaiming “Praise the Lord.” Section three, “Let all Your works give You thanks O Lord,” revisits the hymn-like quality of the first moments of the piece but with a new melody and a quieter line. The longest and final section of the piece brings back the rhythmic/syncopated music, expanding and combining it with the hymn-like expansive qualities of the piece. I set the music of the texts to echo two musical styles of Christian worship—four-part hymn tradition and gospel tradition—combining them to create music which, as a whole, suggests a unified prayer.

— Libby Larsen, April 2004

To rent this piece, please visit C.F. Peters.