Chichester Psalms


Additional Information:

Chichester Psalms
For boy soprano or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra (3 trumpets in B?, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion [5 players], 2 harps and strings). A reduction written by the composer for organ, harp and percussion is also available.
Introduction Psalm 108 - I. Psalm 100 - II. Psalm 23 - III. Psalm 131 - Finale Psalm 133
Duration: 18’30”
1965
“Commissioned by the Very Rev. Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Sussex, for its 1965 Festival, and dedicated, with gratitude, to Cyril Solomon”

Instrumentation:

3 Trumpets in Bb

3 Trombones

5 Percussionists

Timpani

2 Harps

Strings

Duration: 18½ minutes

Orchestral parts are available from Boosey & Hawkes on rental. There is also a version for Organ, one harp, and percussion.

Foreword (from the score):

Every summer the Cathedral of Chichester, in Sussex, England, joins choral forces with its neighbors, Winchester and Salisbury, to produce a music festival. (Chichester has a great musical tradition, going back to its famed organist-composer of the early 17th century, Thomas Weelkes.) For its 1965 Festival, Leonard Bernstein was commissioned to write these Psalms, which were completed on May 7, 1965. The world premiere took place on July 15, 1965, in Philharmonic Hall, N.Y., with the composer conducting the New York Philharmonic, with the Camerata Singers, Abraham Kaplan, conductor, and with John Bogart, alto. The first performance of the original version, as conceived by Mr. Bernstein for all-male choir, was heard on July 31, 1985 at Chichester.

-J.G. (Jack Gottlieb)

Composer’s Note (from the score):

The soprano and alto parts are written with boys’ voices in mind. It is possible, though not preferable, to substitute women’s voices. There are a few passages for solo voices, which may be sung by individuals of the choir. However, the long male-alto solo in the second movement must not be sung by a woman, but either by a boy or a counter-tenor.

-L.B.

Text:

I.

Psalm 108 verse 2:

Urah, hanevel, v’chinor!
A-irah shahar!

Psalm 100, entire:

Hariu l’Adonai kol haarets
Iv’du et Adonai b’simha.
Bo-u l’fanav bir’nanah.
D’u ki Adonai Hu Elohim.
Hu asanu, v’lo ahahnu.
Amo v’tson mar’ito.
Bo-u sh’arav b’todah,
Hatseirotav bit’hilah,
Hodu lo, bar’chu sh’mo.
Ki tov Adonai, l’olam has’do.
V’ad do vador enumato.

 

II.

Psalm 23, entire:

Adonai ro-I, lo ehsar.
Bin’ot deshe yarbitseini,
Al mei m’nhot y’nahaleini,
Naf’shi y shovev,
Yan’heini b’ma’aglei tsedek,
L’ma’an sh’mo.
Gam ki eilech
B’gei tsalmavet,
Lo ira ra,
Ki Atah imadi.
Shiv’t’cha umisban’techa
Hemah y’nahamuni.
Ta’aroch l’fanai schulchan
Neged tsor’rai
Dishanta vashemen roshi
Cosi r’vayah.
Ach tov vahesed
Yird’funi kol y’mei hayai,
V’shav’ti b’veit Adonai
L’orech yamim.

 

Psalm 2, verses 1-4:

Lamah rag’shu goyim
Ul’umim yeh’gu rik?
Yit’yats’vu malchei erets,
V’roznim nos’du yahad
Al Adonai v’al m’shiho.
N’natkah et mos’roteimo,
V’nashlichah mimenu avoteimo.
Yoshev bashamayim
Yis’hak, Adonai
Yil’ag lamo!

 

III.

Psalm 131, entire:

Adonai, Adonai,
Lo gavah libi,
V’lo ramu einai,
V’lo hilachti
Big’dolot uv’niflaot
Mimeni.
Im lo Shiviti
V’domam’ti,
Naf’shi k’gamul alei imo,
Kagamul alai naf’shi.
Yahel Yis’raiel el Adonai
Me’atah v’ad olam.

 

Psalm 133, verse 1:

Hineh mah tov,
Umah naim,
Shevet ahim
gam yahad.

I.

Psalm 108 verse 2:

Awake, psaltery and harp:
I will rouse the dawn!

Psalm 100, entire:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord, He is God.
It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name
For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endureth to all generations.

 

II.

Psalm 23, entire:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside the still waters,
He restoreth my soul,
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness,
For his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk
Through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For Thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff
They comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies,
Thou anointest my head with oil,
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy
Shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord|
Forever.

 

Psalm 2, verses 1-4:

Why do the nations rage,
And the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His anointed.
Saying, let us break their bonds asunder,
And cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens
Shall laugh, and the Lord
Shall have them in derision!

 

III.

Psalm 131, entire:

Lord, Lord,
My heart is not haughty,
Nor mine eyes lofty,
Neither do I exercise myself
In great matters or in things
Too wonderful for me.
Surely I have calmed
And quieted myself,
As a child that is weaned of his mother,
My soul is even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the Lord
From henceforth and forever.

 

Psalm 133, verse 1:

Behold how good,
And how pleasant it is,
For brethren to dwell
Together in unity.

 

 

 
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