strings, harp, percussion, organ, SATB chorus, tenor and baritone soli
Bucks Country Chorale, 1997
The Bucks County Choral Society
Nunc Dimittis (He Gives Us Joy) combines the Biblical story of Simeon (Luke 2: 25-40) with verses from William Blake’s Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence. Simeon was promised that he should not die before seeing the Messiah. When the young Christ is brought to him, he declares: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which shall be to all people a light to lighten the gentiles. Simeon’s canticle is framed by Blake’s poetry. The work opens with the “Nunc dimittis” chant in the organ part . Canonic choral parts combine with the chant; the work builds as Simeon (the baritone solo) leaves behind his life of sorrow and experiences his longed-for salvation.
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which shall be to all people a light to lighten the gentiles. (Luke 2: 25-40)
On Another’s Sorrow.
Can I see another’s woe,
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
He doth give his joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
Think not thou canst sigh [a sigh]
And thy maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear
And thy maker is not near?
Oh he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy
Till our grief is fled and gone.
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child….