Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Treasury of Choral Music: Mourns the Tree

Wednesday greetings to all.

It is such a privilege (in case I haven't mentioned it before!) to work in this great Catholic publishing house. One of the treasures about working here is the fact that we publish what I believe to be the best choral music for the Church today.

We recently published a piece by Lisa Stafford, Mourns the Tree. It's beauty has haunted me ever since I first heard it and sang it. The poetry touches me deeply and the choral arrangement is stunning. Lisa, thank you for this gift to the Church.

Here's the text:

Mourns the Tree and mourns the wood.

Mourns the forest where it stood.
Bole and branches, strong and wise:
Mourns the Tree of Sacrifice.

Gentle iron not for fear,
Not for wounding, not to tear.
Hands that bless and feet that lead:
Gentle iron, go tenderly.

Oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow, oh, sorrow.

Sorrow’s stone and sorrow’s tomb;
Sorrow’d chamber, noble room.
Ages old, in stillness stands:
Sorrow’s stone holds death’s dark bands.

Blessed Tree and blessed wood; Blessed boughs held Man and God.
Portal into Paradise:
Blessed, glorious Tree of Life!

(Text and music by Lisa Stafford. Copyright World Library Publications. All rights reserved.)

Here's a snippet of the recording. And you can see the sample pages here.

This is a piece that will draw people into the mystery of the cross during Lent, on Passion Sunday, and on Good Friday.

Here at WLP, we have a choral subscription service, over $100.00 worth of octavos mailed three times per year. We include our new pieces, as well as some time-honored pieces from our treasury. I know that many readers of Gotta Sing Gotta Pray are subscribers to this service ($30.00 per year). For those of you who would like to order a subscription, it couldn't be easier. Just follow this link.

Thanks for considering Mourns the Tree and thanks for listening today.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Mr. C said...

Jerry, if you see Ms. Stafford, please pass on my heartfelt appreciation for her talent on display in this peace. It is evocative of the work of one of my favorite choral composers, Stephen Paulus of Minnesota, and I hope she takes that as a supreme compliment.
Charles in CenCA

Christian Cosas said...

I remember hearing this when it first came out. It knocked me to the floor. I was going to try to squeeze it into this past Lent and Holy Week, but it was too much to juggle in our first year with the new translation of the RM.

We're definitely going to take another swing at it next Lent. Gorgeous, gorgeous piece, and a superb text.

Denise Anderson said...

Transcends all styles - hauntingly beautiful is the perfect description... Thank you for sharing.