Wondrous Cross

Wondrous Cross : A meditation based on the traditional Seven Last Words of Christ

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for SATB choir and organ or piano, with optional soloists, congregation, and strings (string orchestra, string quintet, or string quartet) Wondrous Cross is a reflective work suitable for church or concert choirs at Passiontide. Bullard skilfully weaves the traditional Seven Last Words of Christ with linking biblical passages, 3 well-known hymns, and settings of 4 well-known sacred texts, including 'Drop, drop, slow tears' and 'Ave verum corpus' (both of which may be sung as independent motets) to create a moving and at times dramatic work. The short solos are perfectly suited to members of the choir, and strings (quartet, quintet, or ensemble) may optionally join the organ or piano in the accompaniment. If performed liturgically, the work may be interspersed with prayers and readings. The result is a flexible and striking work that re-presents this timeless story for a modern audience. String parts and full scores are available to hire from the Music Hire Library.show more

Product details

  • Sheet music | 40 pages
  • 214 x 280 x 4mm | 134g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0193379899
  • 9780193379893
  • 2,021,913

Table of contents

Prelude ; The First Words ; Hymn: There is a green hill far away ; The Second Words ; The Third Words ; Hymn: When my love to God grows weak ; The Fourth Words ; Chorus: Drop, drop, slow tears ; Chorus/Hymn: Were you there? ; The Fifth Words ; Chorus and solo/semi-chorus: Ave verum corpus ; The Sixth Words ; Arioso: God so loved the world ; The Seventh Words ; Chorus: In the departure of the Lord ; Hymn: When I survey the Wondrous Crossshow more

Review quote

With all the [performance] options explicit in the score, this cantata is an extremely protean piece that conductors can modify to fit their ensemble and performance needs. * Jason Overall, Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, March 2015 * Bullard's Wondrous Cross is designed for liturgical use or concert performance. Its flexibility is a great merit: the piece can form the basis of a liturgical meditation with opportunities for additional readings, prayer and music, or it can stand alone. A number of performance options enhance its usefulness . . . At about the same level of difficulty for singers and organist as Stainer's Crudfixion, this musically sensitive and attractive work deserves serious consideration by parish choirs for use at Passiontide. * Gordon Appleton, Church Music Quarterly, March 2014 * . . . a moving 35-minute meditation on the seven last words of Jesus in 16 short movements. Any church with a good cantor and a modestly capable choir can make a memorable service of it . . . Everything's very appealing and easy on the ear, and the presence of beloved bymns and scriptural passages is sure to foster the sense of sacred nostalgia among congregations that often adds up to meaningful worship. * American Record Guide, September 13 * There are many versions of the Seven Last Words but Bullard's, interwoven with well-loved hymns including the title piece, has a satisfying form, dramatic shape and meditative logic that few can match . . . He's a populist, but a highly intelligent and challenging one. * Brian Morgon, Choir & Organ, July 13 *show more

About Alan Bullard

Alan Bullard was born in London, and studied with Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music, and at Nottingham University. He enjoyed a successful career in music education, most recently as Head of Composition at Colchester Institute, and is currently an examiner for ABRSM. He now devotes most of his time to composing, editing, and arranging. His music unfailingly appeals to both performers and audiences; he has written for all kinds of choirs, with instrumental works for a variety of ensembles and orchestras. Alan is also a respected writer of music for examination syllabuses and educational albums. His major publications include the inspirational Oxford Book of Flexible Anthems and Oxford Book of Flexible Carols, Alan Bullard Carols, and Alan Bullard Anthems, and the three cantatas Wondrous Cross, O Come Emmanuel, and A Light in the Stable. He and his wife Janet also write the Pianoworks series for the older beginner.show more