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Commissioned by the College Street Congregational Church, Burlington, Vermont, in honor of the 20th anniversary of their music director, Yona Yellin.
The text for All the Beauty of the Lord is based on the lyrics for the anthem, "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy" (words by Frederick Faber). The musical setting is new.
The focus of this anthem is on the vastness of God's love -- the wideness of mercy, the wideness of the sea, the broad vision of the mind. And while God's love is huge and wonderful, only through the simplicity of our loving -- ever living by the Word -- can the light of God enter our lives.
Thus, the musical language of the anthem is simple, in hymn style. The initial spacing of the chords is open (vast). Near the end of the anthem, the replenishment of beauty is expressed as the melodic line ascends, and the chords fill out into a multitude of pitches -- "All the Beauty of the Lord!"
Notes by the composer