Matins Responsory - I Look From Afar
The traditional Advent responsory text for Lessons & Carols and Evening services - SATB Choir, Soprano and Baritone Soloists, and optional handbell (C).
Janette Fishell composed her setting of the familiar Matin Responsory, “I look from afar,” for the choir of St. Paul’s, Greenville, North Carolina. While we may regret that the acoustic of that church is not included with the music, it must have been an inspiration. The choir, with the basses split to accommodate vocal comfort, and with occasionally divided sopranos, sings a series of five brief ostinati very softly, setting up an atmospheric halo over which soprano and baritone soloists declaim the full text of the responsory. As that text progresses, the choir shifts from one ostinato to the next. (Fine soloists are essential.) It has great potential for a powerful effect.
Alan Lewis, AAM Journal - Nov. 2010
I look from afar and lo I see the pow'r of God,
the pow'r of God coming and a cloud, a cloud cov'ring the whole earth.
Go ye out to meet Him, and say, "Tell us who art thou?"
"Tell us, art thou He that should come to reign over thy people Israel?"
High and low, rich and poor, are with another, go ye out to meet him, and say
"Are you he that should come?"
Hear, O Thou Shepherd of Israel,
Thou that leadeth Joseph like a sheep,
Tell us, art thou he?
Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come,
Come to reign over thy people Israel!
Glory be to God. Glory to the Son. Glory to the Spirit.