Duration – 3:30
A) Psalm 98: Sing Unto the Lord a New Song, for SATB Choir and Chamber Orchestra (2018)
(Text: King James Bible)
B) SATB Choir and Piano (2018)
The Psalms of the Old Testament Bible have been sung from the time of King David to the present day. Historian Irene Hesk notes that the Book of Psalms has served as “the bedrock of Judeo-Christian hymnology,” concluding that “no other poetry has been set to music more often in Western civilization.”
In my setting of Psalm 98, I used some “word painting”; whereby I have the music reflect the meaning of certain key phrases. Some examples: the opening “O sing unto the Lord a new song” is purposely melodic; “his holy arm hath gotten him the victory” sounds heroic, “make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise” adds a tambourine and has more cheerful music, “with the harp” has the string players pluck their strings like a harp, and “Let the sea roar” aims to represent the majestic flowing of the sea.
The creation of new music for Psalm 98 is a joint project and commission between the Masterworks of Oakville Chorus and Orchestra (Charles Demuynck artistic director), the Toronto Choral Society (Geoffrey Butler artistic director) and the Scarborough Philharmonic (Ronald Royer artistic director). I have appreciated and enjoyed working with these organizations and my fellow music directors on creating new music for this great Psalm.