Ennis Fruhauf
An English Cantata
Soloists, Choir, and Organ
(20  Pages  of  Music)
On texts by:
Alfred Lord Tennyson --
In Memoriam A.H.H.,  Preface: Vs. 1, 6 and 7
Isaac Watts -- Paraphrase  of  Psalm 117
Thomas Ken -- The Doxology
Based on the melody:
The Eighth Tune  by 
Thomas Tallis

I.      Chorus: "We have but faith"
II.     Solo Interlude: "Strong Son of God" (Tenor)
III.   Aria: "From all that dwell below the skies" (Soprano)
IV.   Chorus: "Let knowledge grow"
V.     Duet: "Eternal are thy mercies, Lord" (Soprano and Tenor)
VI.   Chorus: "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow"


            An English Cantata is a six-movement work for voices and organ, based on a familiar hymn melody, The Eighth Tune (or Tallis Canon), by Thomas Tallis  (1505-1585), paired with texts by three English authors.

The opening movement, “We have but faith,” is a setting of Verse 6 from the Preface of In Memoriam A.H.H., an extended work by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809- 1892).  In  Memoriam  was written over a number of years to memorialize the life and early passing in 1833 of Arthur Henry Hallam, a school friend from Tennyson’s years at Trinity College, Cambridge.  The opening (and returning) chorus is set in a latter Baroque contrapuntal texture and features voices in concertato with the organ. It includes augmented cantus firmus appearances of all four phrases of the Tallis hymn tune. The second movement, “Strong Son of God,”is a brief arioso setting of Verse 1 from In Memoriam. It is followed by an aria for soprano that quotes the text of Isaac Watt’s (1674-1748) paraphrase of Psalm 117, “From all that dwells below the skies,” familiar as the first verse of the Doxology.

        Verse 7 of In Memoriam appears in the second stanza of the opening chorus, which returns as the fourth movement of the cantata with the text, “Let knowledge grow.”  The fifth movement is a duet for soprano and tenor that features Watts’ second verse from the Doxology, “Eternal are thy mercies, Lord.” The elaborate concluding choral movement is contrapuntal in nature and again features cantus firmus citations of Tallis Canon in combination with a setting of the familiar Doxology text by Thomas Ken (1637-1711), “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.”

        Throughout An English Cantata, the organ plays the role of a Baroque orchestra, providing essential bass lines and orchestral ritornelli  in concertato with (SATB) choral statements.  The writing for voices and organ is musically challenging and will evoke elements of latter German Baroque compositional techniques.  In keeping with period practices, interpretive instructions are minimal.

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