There Was The One

SATB with divisi, soprano solo, alto solo, tenor solo


Taken from program notes written by Dr. Gary Cannon:

Around the year 800, a German monk had an epiphany about the creation of the universe. To him, the “greatest wonder” was the realization that once upon a time, nothing existed except for God. In a standard medieval poetic form, he listed the elements of nature- trees, mountains, stars and so on- that simply hadn’t been. The resulting anonymous text found its way to Wessobrunn Abbey, 40 miles southwest of Munich. It has come to be known as the Wessobrunn Prayer.

Fast-forward 1200 years, When Joy encountered this poem as part of a competition inviting composers to set the poem in any of four languages: Latin, English, German, and/or Spanish. Porter was deeply moved by the notion of this monk who, “sitting alone with a candle, was suddenly overwhelmed by God.”

An alto solo initially takes the monk’s role, amid a minimalist haze.

Score can be perused and purchased here through MusicSpoke.

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