SATB and organ
Oxford University Press
Commissioned by St John’s College, Cambridge, and written for the 2018 BBC Advent broadcast.
First performance 25 November, 2018 | The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge | Andrew Nethsingha, conductor
‘A Prayer to St John the Baptist’ sets an artfully crafted text that combines Guido d’Arezzo’s ‘Ut queant laxis’ (itself a Hymn to John the Baptist, as well as a medieval music-teaching mnemonic) with Thomas Merton’s poem on the same subject. The organ’s flowing quavers represent Merton’s baptismal ‘rivers of water’, while the largely octatonic melodies conjure a tellingly mysterious atmosphere.