Wondrous Cross (2011)
SATB choir and organ or piano, with optional soloists, congregation, and strings (string orchestra, string quintet, or string quartet). Duration c.30 minutes
Wondrous Cross is a reflective work suitable for church or concert choirs of all abilities at Passiontide. It weaves the traditional Seven Last Words of Christ with linking biblical passages, well-known hymns, an arrangement of ‘Were you there’ (recording here) and settings of sacred texts, including ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’ (recording here) and ‘Ave verum corpus’ (recording here) – both of which may be sung as independent motets – to create a moving and at times dramatic work. The short solos are perfectly suited to members of the choir, and strings (quartet, quintet, or ensemble) may optionally join the organ or piano in the accompaniment. If performed liturgically, the work may be interspersed with prayers and readings. The result is a flexible and striking work that re-presents this timeless story for a modern audience.
Recorded by The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, director Sarah MacDonald on Regent REGCD404
Complete audio of first performance (with complete text) at Lion Walk Church here
Complete scrolling score (with audio) here
Complete vocal score available to view here