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American Te Deum, An
Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Instrumentation: piano, violin, cello and percussion
Catalog number: AMP 5019P
AN AMERICAN TE DEUM is a sevenmovement work for treble chorus, percussion, piano and solo violin and cello. Treble choirs are continually becoming more professional and prominent, and the need for a larger cadre of extended works for that medium is increasing. Economy of instrumentation is also essential to many ensembles that frequently tour and whose concert seasons are multifaceted.
I decided on the Te Deum text, written some sixteen centuries ago, as the centerpiece for the work. Of course, literally hundreds of musical settings of Te Deum have been written, but the vast majority of them are for mixed chorus and not for treble voices. I also wanted to vary from the traditional text in places and find writings from American poets that I could infuse into the mix.
Lastly, I wanted to explore some musical style changes in various movements of An American Te Deum that would reflect a bit of the “melting pot“ of styles that one finds in American society. For example, the first movement is percussive and rather angular in nature, while the second movement reflects a hint of jazz and “Gershwinstyle“ harmony. “Vouchsafe, O Lord“ (movement VI) is written as a straightforward motet, while other movements capture yet a different style. In summary, the nature of An American Te Deum is not unlike a “musical quilt,“ constructed with treble voices, a traditional text in English and Latin, American texts in English, various musical styles laced into the middle, and the whole of it framed in a rhythmically and harmonically colorful accompaniment of percussion, piano and two solo strings.
Vocal Score: AMP 5019 $6.95
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