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Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and piano version) by The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists, Matthew Culloton, director.
View a PDF file of the choral score (SATB version) of this composition. Non-printable -- for perusal only.
View a PDF file of the choral score (SSA version) of this composition. Non-printable -- for perusal only.
Steal Away interprets the traditional spiritual, Steal Away to Jesus, as a song of alternating sorrow and strength. The refrains are presented quietly and mournfully: "Steal away to Jesus. I ain't got long to stay here." In contrast, the verses are sung with conviction: "My Lord calls me, calls me by the thunder." Similarly, the accompaniment varies from florid arpeggiations (for the refrains) to rhythmic chordal entrances (for the verses).
Of special interest is the use of scale patterns. In the opening refrain, and on every occurrence of the words "steal away," the scales descend, marked as falling tears, or stealing away. At the conclusion of the song, the scales now rise, as the soul ascending to heaven. "My Lord calls me, calls me home."
Notes by the composer