John the Baptist

John the Baptist : Vocal score

  • Sheet music
By (composer) 

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for SATB and organ Michael Finnissy's John the Baptist won the 2015 British Composer Award in the Liturgical Category. Commissioned by St John's College, Cambridge, for Advent 2014, the piece recalls the folk music of the Middle East, and alternates between boisterous two-part homophony and slower, reflective polyphony.
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Product details

  • Sheet music | 16 pages
  • 191 x 291 x 3mm | 48g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0193407647
  • 9780193407640

Review quote

The musical language is bold and unconventional, which brings into focus the surprisingly contemporary feel of the text. Finnissy's harmonic language is boldly dissonant, yet not harsh or austere. Chromatic alterations and stark tonal juxtapositions are nonetheless sensible and even beautiful within his sophisticated musical landscape. Modest resources, both in terms of the organ as accompaniment and the number of singers in the choir are sufficient for this anthem,
but the singers need a fairly high level of technical facility. The music alternates between quasi-recitative passages, grouping first sopranos and tenors, then altos and basses, and homophonic hymn-like passages. The texture never exceeds four parts, yet the music makes noticeable demands on the
choir. The organ part is far less technically challenging, yet it adds greatly to the musical effect. * Jason Overall, AAM Journal, February 2017 *
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About Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill, London in 1946 and studied at the Royal College of Music. He later studied in Italy with Roman Vlad. He went on to create the music department of the London School of Contemporary Dance, and has been associated as composer with many notable British dance companies. He has also been musician in residence to the Victorian College of the Arts, the City of Caulfield in Australia, and the East London Late Starters Orchestra. In
1999 he was made Professor of Composition at the University of Southampton. Finnissy has been featured composer at the Bath, Huddersfield and Almeida festivals, amongst others, and his works are widely performed and broadcast worldwide. Recordings are available on various labels, notably NMC and Metier;
the latter has released a cycle of CDs to great critical acclaim.
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