Academic journal article The Hymn

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Academic journal article The Hymn

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Article excerpt

CHORAL MUSIC

O little town of Bethlehem ST. LOUIS, arr. David Evan Thomas [SATB and harp], lone Press (7259)

This setting to the popular late-nineteenth- century American carol joins colorful and weaving melodies to form a vivid anthem with harp accompaniment. The harp is substantial in its leadership, support, and decoration of the choral material which is treated largely as counterpoint. The instrumental part carries elegant patterns in triplet beat divisions, arpeggiated chords, notes in harmonics, and glissandi.

Marked in a "gentle, moderato tempo," the soft harp introduction draws the sopranos alone to open the choral section. While the triplet rhythm accompanies the second stanza, the tempo indications increase slightly in speed with tenors and basses alternating on the ST. LOUIS tune. Throughout this section, the SATB voices engage into a delicately woven counterpoint, leading to somewhat of a D minor resolution.

A more involved harp interlude precedes the third stanza starting with ppp dynamics. …

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