Star is a free treatment of the 16th century German chorale tune Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern (How lovely shines the morning star). Over ‘dynamic cluster chords’ created by upper voices singing the same phrase independently, tenors and basses respond in unison. All voices together join in the F major cascade of the final phrase, holding different notes in the scale to finish the piece on a warm chord. Make sure that some singers plan to finish on the low Fs, to give the chord a firm foundation.
How lovely shines the Morning Star! The nations see and hail afar The light in Judah shining. Thou David’s Son of Jacob’s race, My Bridegroom and my King of Grace, For Thee my heart is pining. Lowly, Holy, Great and glorious, Thou victorious Prince of graces, Filling all the heavenly places.
Philipp Nicolai (1597), trans. Henry Harbaugh
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