SATB Choir, Four Soloists (S, S2 or A, T, and B), and Organ. One of the great Baroque verse anthems! Quintessentially English, this anthem has hints of Handel's Messiah. (Ol' G.F. would have heard this anthem and was known to crib an idea now and again...) The solo parts are quite short and can be divided up. The choir parts are simple! This is a lot of bang for the rehearsal time involved. A wonderful piece in seven short movements.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
and ev'ry mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight
and the rough places shall be made plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
and all flesh shall see it together.
And the voice said cry, (What shall I cry?)
all flesh is grass, and the goodliness thereof
is as a flower that is in the field.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,
but the word of the Lord shall stand fast forever.
O Zion, that bringeth glad tidings,
get thee up into the montains.
O Jerusalem, that bringeth glad tidings
lift up thy voice with strength
and say unto Judah, "behold thy God".