IN COMMENDATION OF MUSIC (Choir – SATB, extensive divisi)
First performance – Chantry Quire, Chichester, 2012
Score available at Composers Edition https://composersedition.com/alison-willis-in-commendation-of-music
In Commendation of Music is a setting of the poem of the same name by William Strode (1598 - 1645) It suggests that one’s soul is changed for harmony at the time of death. It was written in memory of my father, Vincent Atherfold Dewberry. The picture is sunrise over Rutland Water, a place he loved as a teenager.
In Commendation of Music
William Strode (1600 -1643)
When whispering straynes doe softly steale
With creeping passion through the hart,
And when at every touch wee feele
Our pulses beate and beare a part;
When thredds can make
A hartstring shake
Philosophie Can scarce deny
The soule consists of harmony.
When unto heavenly joy wee feyne
Whate're the soule affecteth most,
Which onely thus wee can explayne
By musick of the winged hoast,
Whose layes wee think
Make starres to winke,
Philosophie can scarce deny
Our soules consist of harmony.
O lull mee, lull mee, charming ayre,
My senses rock with wonder sweete;
Like snowe on wooll thy fallings are,
Soft, like a spiritts, are thy feete:
Greife who need feare
That hath an eare?
Down lett him lye and slumbring dye,
And change his soule for harmony.