by William Sharlin
SATB, cantor, keyboard
Review from The Choral Journal, October, 1998
William Sharlin’s setting of Genesis 49: 12 – "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah" – is suitable for large or small choir (within the context of a liturgical service), is not vocally or technically demanding, and could be performed unaccompanied. The piece is concise, lasting two minutes, fifteen seconds, and beautifully proportioned – choir vs. cantor, traditional harmonic relationships, symmetric repetition. This is an eloquent example of a non-intrusive musical setting where the composer created around the text a perfect musical ambiance, in this instance one of unequivocal supplication and trust. With the exception of the middle cantorial solo, the full choir sings throughout in a lilting, syllabic fashion.
Biographical notes about composer William Sharlin (b. 1920) reveal a long, fruitful career in the study, writing, and performance of sacred music. A literal translation is included, but there is no singing translation; a pronunciation guide is also included.
Review by Stephanie A. Henry