Te Deum (Jenkins)
|by Karl Jenkins|
Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, location of the premiere
|Occasion||Liverpool European Capital of Culture|
|Performed||30 November 2008 Liverpool:|
|Published||2009 London : by Boosey & Hawkes|
Jenkins composed the work on a commission by the Liverpool Welsh Choral Union in 2008 when Liverpool was European Capital of Culture. The text chosen for the celebration is the Latin Te Deum, an early Christian hymn also known as the Ambrosian Hymn. The composer conducted the premiere on 30 November 2008, with the choir and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Philharmonic Hall. A review noted:
What he has created is a joyous, theatrical piece of music, from the opening Bernstein/Gershwinesque rhythmic fanfare, through a sweeping, lyrical vocal line to a march-like Sanctus with the massed voices emulating the beat of percussion's drum, and trumpets spiralling over the top in a Penny Lane-style voluntary.
Scoring and structure
The piece is scored for mixed choir SATB and an orchestra of strings, two trumpets and four percussionists, playing timpani, glockenspiel and xylophone, bass drum, cymbal and suspended cymbal, and side drum. The choir is four-part SATB, with the exception of one chord where both women and men are divided in three groups. Compared to other choral works by Jenkins such as the mass for peace The Armed Man, the demands on choir and orchestra size are moderate and make the work accessible for lay performers also.
The text is rendered in one movement but structured in sections of different character, with the first line of the text repeated in the end. The following table shows the sections with their incipit, the translation from the Book of Common Prayer, tempo marking, key and time signature, as provided in the vocal score.
|Te Deum||We praise thee, O God||Allegro||C major||3/4|
|Te ergo quaesumus||We therefore pray Thee||Adagio||A minor|
|Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis||Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints||Allegramente||F major|
|Miserere nobis||O Lord, have mercy upon us||Largo||B minor|
|Te Deum||Vivace||C major||3/4|