Conversion of Saul, The

Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Voicing: SSAATTBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0530
Price: $2.50


After the stoning of Stephen, Saul launched an all out persecution of the early Christian church and became legendary in his pursuit to exterminate all who "believed." But as Saul (also called Paul) later wrote, he was blinded by a light from heaven as he traveled to Damascus and was confronted by a voice that called out to him, saying "Saul, why do you persecute me?" This event has become known as "the conversion of Saul," as Saul turned from his murderous deeds and spent the remainder of his life as a Christian missionary. This musical work ("The Conversion of Saul") begins with a raucous depiction of death and destruction through highly accentuated rhythmic treatment and repeated agitation of the text. A pedal tone emerges in the middle of the piece, symbolizing the "one true light." This continuum of light brings Saul to his knees, and "commissions" him to a life of "turning hatred into love" and bringing compassion to those around him.

Caedite, vexate, ligate vinculis! 		Saul! Murder, harass, bind into chains! Saul!
Vinculis, condemnate vexate!		 Chain, prosecute and harass!
Why do you persecute me, Saul? Why, why, why? Fall down on your knees, turn hatred into love. Turn darkness into light. Bow down, Saul! Bow down, Saul! Saul, Saul, Saul.


Z. Randall Stroope
is an American composer and conductor His compositions are frequently heard on internet media, television broadcasts, and NPR radio, as well as on programs of esteemed ensembles throughout the world. Randall has composed over 150 works, having studied with Cecil Effinger and Normand Lockwood ‐ both students of the famous French teacher, Nadia Boulanger. He is the Artistic Director of two summer music festivals in Europe, has conducted at Carnegie Hall (New York) every year since 2001, and is a university professor. (See for a complete biography and list of works.)

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