The spacious firmament

The spacious firmament (1989)
SSAATTBB unaccompanied
Commissioned by the BBC Northern Singers as part of a 70th birthday tribute to Stephen Wilkinson, and first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 26 November 1989. Setting the well-known text by Joseph Addison, The spacious firmament is a mysterious and powerful concert work. Bullard uses a variety of textures throughout the piece, from spacious, layered chords to extended melismatic passages, resulting in a unique and memorable choral work that will be welcomed by larger choirs.
“This four-minute anthem feels like a real showpiece without providing too arduous a challenge for the SSAATTBB forces. It is well within the range of well-conducted amateur chamber and student choirs, and makes a vivid and pleasingly varied picture of Joseph Addison’s famous lyrics.” – James Weeks, Music Teacher, June 2011
“Although rooted in traditional harmonic language, the music divides words (and sometimes parts of words) between voice parts and uses note clusters. It is a very worthwhile piece, exploiting musically the contrasts between exuberant and gentle within the text.” – Gordon Appleton, Church Music Quarterly, September 2011
`A beautifully constructed setting of Joseph Addison’s poem’ – Jane Ashley, Mastersinger magazine
Recorded on the CD ‘The Eternal Ecstasy’ by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, director Sarah MacDonald – here is an audio extract:

Oxford University Press details