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Read comments from Gwyneth Walker regarding a performance of I Thank You God.
Read a review of I Thank You God (1998) for SSA chorus and piano by Roger MacNeill, Nebraska Music Educators Association.
Read an analysis of I Thank You God (1998) for SSA chorus and piano
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work (SSA and piano) by the ACDA Honors Women's Choir, Diane Loomer, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSA and piano) performed by the ACDA Honors Women's Choir, Diane Loomer, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSA and orchestra) performed by the Hamburg High School Concert Chorale and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Norman Zogaib, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSA and orchestra).
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSATB and piano) performed by the Mountainside Master Chorale, Jean-Sébastian Vallée, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSATB and piano) performed by the Deleware All-State High School Mixed Choir, Jerry Blackstone, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSATB and piano) performed by the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Chamber Singers, Deborah Chandler, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of this work (SSA, piano, strings, and percussion) performed by Vox Femina Los Angeles, Iris S. Levine, conductor.
View a video presentation of a performance of this work (SSA, brass, and piano) by the Moores School of Music Concert Women's Chorus, Justin S. Smith, conductor.
View/download a perusal PDF file of this work.
Download a PDF file of the E. E. Cummings poetry used in this work as text for printing in concert programs.
I Thank You God was commissioned by the Endowment Fund of the American Choral Directors Association in memory of Raymond W. Brock. The work was premiered by the Women's Honor Choir at the National ACDA Convention in Chicago, February, 1999. The version for Mixed Chorus was created in 2002.
The text is adapted from the E. E. Cummings poem "i thank you God for most this amazing day." This is a song of praise.
A piano introduction marked "slowly unfolding, with wonderment," spans the broad range of the keyboard, as if expressing the breadth of space and life. The chorus enters, offering thanks to God for "the leaping, greenly spirit of trees," "a blue true dream of sky" and "everything which is infinite."
A central phrase of "I who have died an alive again today" returns frequently. This is an expression of the rebirth of the soul with each "amazing day."
Notes by the composer
For occasions when the a full chamber orchestra is not available, selected parts from the orchestration may be obtained and combined along with the piano part. The piano part (as printed in the octavo) must always be included, and should be played as written.
Other instruments may be added selectively from the orchestral set, depending on logistical and musical feasibility. For example, brass and percussion may be added by using the available brass parts (a tuba could use the bassoon part). Or strings and percussion could be used (with or without the brass). Recordings of performances employing these options are linked above. Most any combination that seems musically compelling is possible.
The conductor should purchase and have available for reference a copy of the full orchestra score: SSA (#6595) or SSATB (#6794).
The orchestral parts may be then ordered separately as desired: SSA (#6611) or SSATB (#6796).