Behold Now, Bless the Lord
Alfred V. Fedak

Composer Alfred V. Fedak
Text Psalms 133 and 134
Voicing
SATB, organ
Topics Praise and Adoration
Length
3' 30" Price $2.25 (U.S.)
Released 07/07
Catalog no. 410-888 Difficulty Difficult

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Review copy


Description
This magnificent anthem takes its text from Psalm 133 and 134. Reminiscent of the popular festival anthems of William Mathias, Fedak's music is full of joy and vigor, supported by an active and colorful organ part. A slower middle section on the words "O how good and pleasant it is" leads to a reprise of the opening in a higher key. It is useful for nearly any occasion, and will be loved by choir, congregation, and organist. Commissioned by the Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for the 2007 Region III Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. "Fedak's expert craft keeps it within the grasp of most volunteer ensembles." (AAM Journal)

Review
"Alfred Fedak has a singular way of creating music that sounds difficult and complex while in actuality placing modest demands on choirs. His capable integration of a variety of sources, from plainsong to motivically-derived development techniques, imbues his anthems with sophistication. .... Verses of Psalms 133 and 134 appear in the bright, effusive Behold Now, Bless the Lord. Choral parts are largely homophonic with few pitfalls. The organ develops a motivic figure throughout the piece in a variety of guises, allowing it to contribute beyond mere accompaniment. Fedak paints on a large canvas with this anthem, dividing the work into distinct sections that increase the sense of grandness. At the same time, the work is natural in its expression, never fussy or self-aggrandizing. The length and variety of the textures in the choral part make this somewhat more difficult than the other works reviewed here, yet Fedak's expert craft keeps it within the grasp of most volunteer ensembles." --AAM Journal, September 2017

Text
Behold now, bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night (day)
in the house of the Lord.
Bless the Lord.

Lift up your hands in the holy place
and bless the Lord
who made heaven and earth
bless you out of Zion.
Behold now, bless the Lord.

O how good and pleasant it is
when brethren (kindred, people)
live together in unity!
It is like fine oil upon the head
that runs down upon the beard of Aaron,
and runs down the collar of his robe.

O how good and pleasant it is!
It is like the dew of Hermon
that falls upon the hills of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained the blessing:
life for evermore.

Behold now, bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord
who stand by night (day)
in the house of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the holy place
and bless the Lord,
the Lord who made heaven and earth
bless you out of Zion.

--Psalms 134 and 133



 

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