So Hallow’d the Time, No. 1: Wisdom

“So Hallow’d the Time”

SATB, flute, violin and harp.

Premiered by the Taylor Festival Choir in September 2017, this is the first in a five-movement choral cycle entitled So Hallow’d the Time. A professional recording of the full work was released on the Delos label in 2020.

PER-So-Hallowed-I

Text

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

—from ‘O Antiphons’, 7th century
[O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High, 
reaching from one end to the other mightily, 
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.]

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.

—from Hamlet, Act I, Scene I, William Shakespeare
Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo, after seeing the Ghost