Be Still

for choir and organ

 

Composition Date: 2015

Duration: 4'

 

Text: Psalm 46

Information:

 

Commissioned by King's College, Cambridge and first performed by Choir of King's College, conducted by Stephen Cleobury at the Chapel of King's College, 2015. 

 

 

Programme Note:

 

Be Still

 

2015

 

A setting of Psalm 46, for choir and organ

 

This work was commissioned by Stephen Cleobury and King’s College Choir. It is the first of six new pieces commissioned through a generous benefaction of the late Michael Boswell (KC 1959), choral scholar.

Psalm 46 has always appealed to me, with its sense of peace, trust and acceptance. I like the idea that the ‘destructions’ wrought by God are of the weapons and trappings of war.

 

I have used ideas of tempest and resolution, with verse 10 standing alone as a moment of serenity.

 

Be Still was first performed on March 4th 2015 at King’s College Chapel, directed by Stephen Cleobury, with organ scholar Richard Gowers.

 

It is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Ursula Snow (1927-2015).

 

Sally Beamish

 

 

PSALM 46

 

1. God is our hope and strength : a very present  help in trouble.

 

2. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved : and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;

 

3. Though the waters thereof rage and swell : and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.

 

4. The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God : the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.    

 

5. God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed : God shall help her, and that right early.

 

6. The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved : but God hath shewed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.  

 

7. The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.

 

8. O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord : what destructions he hath brought upon the earth.

 

9. He maketh wars to cease in all the world : he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.

 

10. Be still then, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.

 

11. The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.

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