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R&S: High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (December 2006)
Mike Walag, ICDA High School R&S Chair

Reflections of the Heart

Ken Galbreath
Mark Foster
SATB, a cappella
medium difficulty

"Reflections of the Heart" is a set of three contrasting movements based on
poems of love by Jane Mayes.  The complete set should be performed in its
entirety and would be especially well suited for a chamber choir.
The first movement, Blessings is set in a light-hearted madrigal style and
identifies the five blessings being sought for one's love.  They are:
1) a healthy mind, 2) a body whole, 3) a lively spirit, 4) a serene soul, and 5)
love that lasts for an eternity.

Impressions is a slower, romanticized movement that expresses the sentiment
of how one life touches another and thus leaves a permanent impression upon
the heart.  Rich harmonies with step-wise voice leading, text painting, and
rubato tempos characterize the strong emotions of this text.
The final movement describes a pleasurable walk on the beach and compares
finding a sea shell to finding the perfect treasure in one's love, i.e.
"then lying there ahead a perfect shell I chance to without
measure".  This is the longest movement with more involved choral
part-writing, divisii harmonies, strong dynamic contrasts, and "molto
expressivo" compositional techniques.

Overall, this set exemplifies some very expressive and artistic choral
writing.  This would make an excellent contest piece. 


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