In this lovely setting, a lyrical and quietly rapturous soprano line is supported by two alto parts moving mostly in parallel thirds. The widely ranging contour of the melody serves to convey a sense of wonder.
The composer adds: “The whole piece should have the innocent sound of boy trebles. Absolutely no vibrato! The first six bars of the first soprano part may be sung by a soloist.”
Glossary and pronunciation guide included
I sing of a maiden that is makeless. [matchless] King of all kings to her son she ches. [chose]
He came all so still where his mother was, As dew in April that falleth on the grass.
He came all so still to his mother's bow'r, [bower / chamber] As dew in April that falleth on the flow'r.
He came all so still where his mother lay, As dew in April that falleth on the spray. [spreading branch]
Mother and maiden was never none but she. Well may such a lady Goddès mother be. [God's mother]
Medieval English lyric
Purchase – 4013: I sing of a maiden (Douglas Cook)
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