There Is a Flower

for six-part mixed chorus

Instrumentation: SSATTB Choir
Duration: 3:45

Ursula Vaughan Williams’s translation of the traditional German carol Es ist ein Ros entsprungen first appeared in the 1964 edition of The Oxford Book of Carols, a compilation her husband, Ralph Vaughan Williams, authored and edited.  I was immediately attracted to the syntax and clarity of the translation and ultimately decided to set it to original music.  In my setting, I aim to maintain aspects of the text’s strophic structure while at the same time providing a dramatic arc to support its narrative.  Central to the text’s thematic material is the image of a blossoming rose, and I explore this musically throughout the piece.  Notable manifestations of this symbol include the dense sonorities that slowly unfold from a unison at the opening and the long sustain that gradually builds into an intricate, polyphonic texture at the work’s climax.