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All Await

By Nancy Gifford

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SATB choir and organ - Early Intermediate
Composed by Nancy Gifford. Advent, 21st Century, Marian. Octavo. Duration 3 minutes, 30 seconds. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #8335. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.8335).

Item Number: EC.8335

ISBN 600313483356. English.

All Await was commissioned by Trinity Presbyterian Church, Berwyn, Pennsylvania, in celebration of the church's 150th anniversary. It received its premiere performance at Trinity Church in December, 2012 by the Chancel Choir and Director Paul Vanderslice.

Nancy Gifford was asked to compose a celebratory piece for this occasion based on an Advent theme. The text was inspired by a fourth-century hymn of St. Ambrose of Milan, Veni, Redemptor gentium. In this context, All Await echoes elements of traditional western sacred music while using today's language.
The piece begins plaintively in the E natural minor mode and suddenly breaks into joyful polyphony. In the second section (the Gloria Patri adapted into English), we move into E Major and the music becomes more rhythmic and robust. The climax of the piece describes the angel Gabriel's message
to Mary, when "the Word of God descends." Dramatically descending melodic lines appear, sung in turn by each voice part and then played by the organ.
Repetition and reinvention of these musical ideas follow, with marked contrasts in texture, dynamics, articulation, and expression. Short organ interludes occur throughout the piece, introducing new sections of choral music. This work ends with a short coda, closing with the words "All await," sung by the chorus three times and answered by the organ.
Duration: 3:30.

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