Sound Canticle on Bay Psalm 23
Contemporary Choral Music
by Gregg Smith
Three SATB choruses, a cappella
Laurendale Associates

CH-1205

Review from The Choral Journal, August, 1997

This innovative piece expertly combines the simplicity of some of the earliest music printed in America with avant-garde and aleatoric techniques. The three choruses sing spread throughout an auditorium. Phrases of the original psalm and tune are sung first by a soloist and then by a solo quartet. For three verses, each phrase is followed by an echo effect from the three choirs circling the hall. For verse four, each group sings each of the phrases in a different key simultaneously. Reverence for the character and intent of the Bay Psalm is maintained and even enhanced by the added effects. The drawbacks of this breathtaking work are that parts of it are very difficult and that it demands a large choir.

Review by Susan Armstrong