SATB with Instruments #4, Vol. 20
In Peace and Joy I Now Depart
Many Thousands Gone
In Peace and Joy I Now Depart for SATB, Flute, and Piano
In Peace and Joy I Now Depart is a six-phrase hymn by Martin Luther. Harbach was inspired to write a two-part piece with the form of ABAB. The A parts are newly composed with the ethos underscoring a feeling of Peace, while the B portions evoke the feeling of Joy. The A section begins with a decorated flute melody with comments by the altos, tenors, and basses. The Joy section is reminiscent of a Renaissance dance with the flute melody soaring above with ecstatic fervor. The flute melody from the beginning of the piece (A) now returns and is joins in the dialogue by the piano, followed by the dancelike B section. The piece ends on a joyous note for the final words “That death is but a slumber.”
Many Thousands Gone for SATB with Flute, Cello,and Piano
While writing Freedom Suite for string orchestra which was inspired by the empathy I felt for Harriet and Dred Scott, I was standing on the steps of the St. Louis Courthouse and thought of the many thousands that had stood there and been sold at auction. Many Thousands Gone is for SATB choir, flute, cello, and piano.
Ojibwa Prayer for SATB with Flute, and Piano
The author of this poignant text is unknown, the language of the Ojibwa Prayer isalso known as Chippewa, Saulteaux, Southern Ojibway, and Mississippi Ojibwa. The prayer was taken from Bishop Frederick Baraga’s Catechism written in the middle 1800s. Harbach’s setting, for SATB, flute, and piano, sets in music the wind of the Great Spirit, the weakness of the many children, the beauty of the sunsets and the many things that the Spirit has made. The prayer asks for wisdom from the lessons that come from earthly beauty, so when life fades, we come to you.
Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to ev’ry one, hear me.
I come to you as one of your many children;
Small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.