Words: Stephen Pearson
Music: Richard Phillips
In four movements, A Choral Symphony looks at: the power and majesty of God; our hope that, by his Spirit, we might take on the likeness of Christ; the sacrifice of Calvary, which makes this possible and demands our loving response; and our gratitude and praise to God for the promise of eternal life.
Scriptures that inspired the lyrics include: And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:32); Now faith is confidence in what we hope for (Hebrew 11:1); For God so loved the world... I am the way (John 3:16 and 14:6); and Let heave and earth praise him... for God will rebuild the cities... and those who love his name will dwell there (Psalm 69:34-36).
The music follows a similar pattern to that of a classical symphony in terms of tempo and style, although the 2nd and 3rd movements have been reversed. There have been a number of compositional techniques used, including choric speaking, canon and augmentation to add contrast and interest and also the inclusion of 2 popular songs. The first, a setting of Reginald Heber's text 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God almighty' with the tune of 'Nicea' by John Bachus Dykes with forms part of the 1st movement and secondly Donna Adkins' song 'Father, w love you, we worship and adore you' which is featured in the last movement. The tasteful addition of bass and drums would enhance the presentation.
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