I Beseech You Therefore
Craig Phillips

Composer Craig Phillips
Text Romans 12:1-2
Voicing SATB, organ
Lectionary usage Proper 16A
Topics Christian Life
$2.70 (U.S.)
Length 4' 40" Released 1/19
Catalog no. 410-554
Difficulty Mod. difficult

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Written in memory of the Reverend Peter J. Gomes (longtime minister at Harvard University), this is a rich and glorious anthem in the spirit of Phillips’s popular “The Risen Sun.” Words from the book of Romans serve as the text, which speaks of “being not conformed to the world.” The integral organ part supports the choir throughout and provides many opportunities for the use of solo stops.

Anthem text
I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good
and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

--Romans 12:1-2


Harvard Univ. Choir

review copy

"A group of Harvard University alumni commissioned this anthem in memory of the Rev. Peter Gomes, and the prosaic, theologically meaty text drawn from the twelfth chapter of Romans is appropriate for the tribute to this eminent American preacher and theologian. Phillips approaches the text in a musical-essay style, creating something of a tone poem with strong thematic elements, bold melodies, and clear architecture. Unison phrases assert the text with conviction, and as these lines flower into harmony, Phillips introduces inner voice motivic activity. Countermelodies in the organ further enrich the music, all while carefully balanced in a clearly organized plan. A substantial recapitulation section returns the opening material with some elaboration, rounding out the work with a satisfying denouement. Sopranos and basses divide with some frequency, and altos and tenors divide at the concluding cadence of the middle section. Otherwise, demands on the choir are relatively light. Phillips's distinctive compositional voice is clear throughout the anthem, and the harmonies are on the more conservative end of his personal spectrum. He has plenty of harmonic twists and surprises, yet the voice leading assists the singers in navigating the chromatics. This substantial anthem is a solid addition to Eastertide repertoire." -AAM Journal, May 2021



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