For SATB choir
Duration: ca. 6:30
Premiere: 01.19.2014, Trinity College Choir, Stephen Layton, cond., University of Cambridge, UK
Commissioned by: Trinity College Choir, Stephen Layton, cond., Cambridge, UK.
Program Notes: Very little is written in the gospels about Joseph—a man charged with the awesome responsibility of raising the incarnate Son of God. His silence in the Scriptures gives insight into the meekness and selflessness with which He lived out his succession of days as a humble craftsman. Joseph never stands out as the center of attention but rather his life and decisions point outward, especially to Jesus and Mary for whom he provides and whom he protects and loves.
This composition opens with the words the angel used to address Joseph in a dream, “Joseph, thou son of David…” to be followed by phrases taken from his few appearances in the gospels. Joseph remains in the background as relevant texts from the Psalms are sung; “blessed is the man that feareth the Lord,” and “blessed are the meek”. But the main arrival of this composition correlates with words of Augustine of Hippo which point to Jesus, the Son of God. Thus, the “Joseph, thou Son of David” address in the beginning is replaced now by, “Jesus, Thou Son of God.” After this shift has taken place, the discussion concludes by turning to all people: “Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord…”
Hear the premiere of Joseph, Son of David by Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir below: