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Outlanders, Whence Come Ye Last?

By J. William Greene

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SATB choir, organ
Composed by J. William Greene. An Epiphany scene. Christmas, Epiphany. Octavo. Published by CanticaNOVA Publications (C5.5044).

Item Number: C5.5044

An Epiphany Scene is the composer's subtitle for this work. The drama that develops has as its underpinning a recurring refrain, "The snow in the street and the wind on the shore. Sages and Kings now stand at the door." This phrase occurs as an ostinato throughout the piece, traveling from voice to voice. Around it, the other voices tell a tale of "outlanders" who journey through "green sea and great" and of happy shepherds who "slay their sorrow." Lastly we hear of "A babe and a maid without a flaw" and "an old man there beside, whose hair was white and hood was wide." The quaint imagery and poetry of William Morris' text are enhanced by the driving rhythm of the ostinato, by the choral "trio" around it, and by the ample but not overbearing accompaniment, playable on organ or piano. J. William Greene has given us a worthy addition to the Epiphany repertoire, with music not overly difficult after the Christmas rush, but music of lasting quality. Dr. Greene is Organist/Choirmaster at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynchburg VA. He was the 2000 recipient of CNP's Palestrina Award for his contributions to church music in the United States and for upholding the principles of providing excellent "Traditional Music for the Contemporary Church.".

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