Note on The halls are long and dark

From the Composer

What struck me about this psalm—the shortest of them all, at just three lines of text—was the movement from darkness through the open doors to God’s light.From a composer’s point of view, a short text often provides more opportunity for creativity, because we’re not trying to either make sure all the words are used, or figure out what we can leave out without destroying the essential message of the poet–the psalmist, in this case. The complete text is stated three times, with the second and third statements in different key area. They essentially function as variations of the opening theme (see The Song in The halls are long and dark).

I tried to bring that out in the music by having three of the statements of the words “open doors” escape from the tonality of the surrounding music. The psalm setting ends quietly, secure in the knowledge that “The light you give is my life.”

example: The halls are long and dark from St. Stephen's Psalter

-Robert Train Adams


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