Matthew Prins, composer | list of works

Matthew Prins, composer | list of works header image 2

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

for 4-5 octaves handbells (plus optional C2) and 3 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

This unusual arrangement, set in the key of c minor, expresses the pain, torment and sorrow of the crucifixion. It opens with the optional use of the Singing Bell technique to accompany a plaintive statement of the melody. Measure 19 alters the mood dramatically with the introduction of a subtle, yet driving rhythm in the bass. The hymn tune is brought in and new motifs are introduced as the melody soars above the tension below. The intensity continues to grow until it all comes to an abrupt endconcluding with a thoughtful statement of the melody, rung on handchimes, accompanied by a soft random ring using only C3/4/5/6/7 and G3/6.

Premiered by the Bells of Dundee, March 16, 2008; St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, West Dundee, Ill.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by From the Top Music
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