The Delight of Paradise (SATB a cappella)


SATB a cappella

Text: Odes of Solomon 11

The Delight of Paradise is a seven-movement sacred cantata setting text from the Odes of Solomon. This choral tour-de-force is a powerful feature work for an a cappella concert. The seven varied movements provide a vast array of choral textures that will delight and challenge your singers. Audiences are sure to love it; Amanda Gauthier of the Ottawa citizen wrote:

“Contemporary choral compositions have impressed me, amused me, annoyed me, and bored me. What they’ve rarely done is move me almost to tears, as did a major new work by the young Ottawa composer Nicholas Piper Monday night. … Paradise has breathtaking sweep and astonishing discipline. … It is a surprising, memorable, and shockingly accomplished piece by a prodigiously talented young composer.” —Natasha Gauthier (The Ottawa Citizen, July 13, 2015)

The Delight of Paradise is developed from My Heart Was Cloven, which is the first of the seven movements.

You can hear a live performance of My Heart Was Cloven on our Soundcloud or watch the video below:

Text from The Odes of Solomon 11

Translated from The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden (Meridian)

1. My Heart Was Cloven

My heart was cloven and its flower appeared;
And grace sprang up in it:
And it brought forth fruit to the Lord,
For the Most High clave my heart by His Holy Spirit
And searched my affection towards Him:
And filled me with His love.

2. And His Opening of Me

And His opening of me became my salvation;
And I ran in His way, in His peace,
Even in the way of truth:
From the beginning and even to the end
I acquired His knowledge:
And I was established upon the rock of truth,
Where He had set me up.

3. And Speaking Waters Touched My Lips

And speaking waters touched my lips
From the fountain of the Lord plenteously:
And I drank and was inebriated
With the living water that doth not die;
And my inebriation was not one without knowledge,
But I forsook vanity and turned to the Most High my God.

4. And I Was Enriched by His Bounty

And I was enriched by His bounty,
And I forsook the folly which is diffused over the earth;
And I stripped it off and cast it from me:
And the Lord renewed me in His raiment,
And possessed me by His light,

And from above He gave me rest in incorruption;
And I became like the land
Which blossoms and rejoices in its fruit:
And the Lord was like the sun
Shining on the face of the land;
He lightened my eyes and my face received the dew;
The pleasant odour of the Lord;

5. And He Carried Me to His Paradise

And he carried me to his paradise;
where is the abundance of the pleasure, of the Lord;
And I worshipped the Lord on account of his glory;
and I said, Blessed, O Lord, are they
who are planted in thy land
and those who have a place in thy paradise;
And they grow by the fruits of the trees.
And they have changed from darkness to light.

6. Behold! All Thy Servants Are Fair

Behold! All thy servants are fair,
who do good works,
And turn away from wickedness
to the pleasantness that is thine:
And they have turned back the bitterness
of the trees from them,
when they were planted in thy land;
And everything became like a relic of thyself,
and memorial for ever of thy faithful works. Amen.

7. For There Is Abundant Room

For there is abundant room in thy paradise,
and nothing is useless therein;
But everything is filled with fruit;
Glory be to thee, O God,
the delight of paradise for ever.

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