By the waters of Babylon

Philip Thicknes
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page one of By the waters of Babylon

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Full details

In 2016 James Griffett asked me to write the English setting of this well-known text from Psalm 137 for the International Choir which meets annually at Le Lavandou in Provence and raises money for UNICEF. James wanted the choir to sing the same text in many languages, so my setting was heard after those of Palestrina in Latin, Rossi in Yiddish, Schütz in German and Sweelinck in French. I endeavoured to portray the extremes of emotion in the bulk of the text, as well as the heartless levity in the request by the Babylonians "Sing us one of the songs of Zion". The choir coped with the contrasts and the piece was well received.

Score ID
Philip Thicknes
Year of composition
Psalm 137
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
Choir + keyboard
Classical music
Instrumental parts

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