Gwyneth Walker

Holy Water

for SATB Chorus (2019)

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Download a PDF file of the choral score of this composition.

Commissioned by the College of Communications and the Arts, Seton Hall University, Dr. Jason C. Tramm -- Director of Choral Activities
Premiered May 6, 2019, South Orange Performing Arts Center (South Orange, New Jersey)

Water plays many roles in our lives. It is an agent of healing, washing away our sins. It is pain in the rivers of sorrow, the deep well of tears. It is the holy water, anointing us. It is the Source of Life. All comes from this simple element of water.

The text (by Raymond A. Foss), brief as it is, speaks of two qualities: water (the universal, binding force) and the journey (the revealing of the divine, Christ's mission, his fate). Sections of movement focus on the central tonality of D minor, with phrases that grow through range and dynamics. In contrast, water is expressed through gentle, static C major tone clusters. The alternation between the water and the journey are central to this musical setting.

Notes by the composer