News & Views Tuesday, October 24, 2017

His Light In Us Monday, September 11, 2017

recommended by Alissa Ruth, Jen Sper, and Judy H., School Choral Specialists

Kim Andre ArnesenNorwegian composer Kim André Arnesen has gained notoriety over recent years for his choral compositions that boast warm harmonies, well-placed dissonances, and elegant melodies. He was trained at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim, and while he has always loved both Baroque and pop music, choral music stood out as his passion, and he had his first choral concert as a composer at age 18.

Below are some of Stanton’s recommendations of Arnesen’s pieces. Enjoy!

His Light in UsHis Light in Us
Commissioned by Anton Armstrong for the St. Olaf Choir for St. Olaf’s 2016 Christmas Festival, this work is “a thanksgiving about the gift of a tiny child,” and reflects that “only the nature of love is changeless.” The piece opens with a sweet soprano soli line, then the altos join to create a gentle duet, blossoming into a women’s trio which guides the piece into the men’s entrance, echoing the sweeping melody the sopranos introduced. The piece speaks of renewal, both in the sense of renewal of hope and renewal of spirit.

Cradle HymnCradle Hymn
This sweet, simple melody is set with piano and strings, with a gentle constant eighth-note pattern in the piano keeping the phrase moving forward. The melody itself is almost folk-like in nature, and the harmonies surrounding it gradually build through each verse of the piece. Both the SATB and SSAA are beautiful, but I think that this piece really shines in the women’s voicing.

 

Dormi JesuDormi Jesu
This a cappella Christmas piece offers a beautiful avenue to showcase a pair of sopranos, using a sweet, soaring melodic line and that beautiful simplicity for which Arnesen is known. The choral parts, while using well-placed dissonances, are extremely accessible in terms of solfege, so don’t fear programming this piece for your high school or college group!

 

Even When He is SilentEven When He is Silent
Using the famous text “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining / I belive in love even when I feel it not / I believe in God even when He is silent,” Arnesen uses his trademark dissonances to create a shimmering effect, swelling to a climax on the phrase “I believe in love.” The timelessness of the text makes this a wonderful programming choice, and the musical structure here provides opportunity to work on elegant phrasing and warmth of tone.

For more information about these pieces and many more, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC. We are happy to help with all of your sheet music needs!

About the Authors
Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, as well as various choirs in the Columbus area, and she spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.


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