Praise and Thanksgiving

for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra

Francis Thorne

Duration: 17:30
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

I had been waiting for twenty years for the ideal opportunity to write a piece for large chorus and symphony orchestra when Peter Leonard finally offered this possibility to me over the lunch table in 1982. The only guideline that we agreed upon was that the text be sacred in its content and up-beat in its mood in order to complement the very serious tone of the Brahms Requiem.

The New American Standard Bible of 1901 has been highly regarded by many for its scholarship and accuracy. I have used it as a source for certain lines from Psalms 107, 108, 111, 116, 148 and 150. I have done this in a most arbitrary way, because I had as a primary objective a structure of contrasting sections, and with a final goal of arriving at a quiet and peaceful unaccompanied chorale for the chorus.

The phrase "Praise the Lord" acts a common fanfare-like introduction to each of the four sections. Section one starts with the first two lines of 107 ("Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good," etc.) and continues with excerpts from 108. Section two opens with a portion of 111 and concludes with the first two stanzas of 116. Section three is written in antiphonal style and begins with a portion of 143. This section concludes with a few lines from 150.

During the fourth section we began with a reprise of the opening lines from 107, featuring four solo voices and then the entire work concludes with the aforementioned quiet chorale setting of 116 ("I Love the Lord," etc.).

The duration of the piece is between 17 and 18 minutes. The orchestration is standard except for the woodwind section which consists of only flute (doubling on piccolo) and oboe (doubling on English horn). It was written during the summer of 1983 in Barfleur, France, a small fishing village in Normandy.

"Praise and Thanksgiving" was commissioned by the Youngstown Symphony Chorus and Orchestra and it is dedicated with deep respect and warm friendship to Peter Leonard.

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Youngstown Symphony (OH).
Composition Date 1983
Orchestration SATB Chorus; 1(Picc.) 1(E.H.) 0 0 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere 1984. Youngstown Symphony, OH.