Celtic Blessing: Deep Peace – Learning Tracks

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There are many versions of the words of the Celtic blessing but the words I have chosen to set are the ones that first captured my imagination many years ago in a Christian liturgy.

The words of the blessing are heard three times, beginning in the alto part, which carries the tune throughout the piece. The first and second soprano lines grow from this tune, sometimes diverging from it, and briefly returning to it, like the ebb and flow of the tide.

The music of the piano part has four voices, reflecting each of the elements in the blessing: a D pedal which travels between three registers, the voice of the “quiet earth”; a falling motif in the piano’s high register which becomes a rising and falling motif, the voice of the “running wave”. These are punctuated by high chords, the voice of the “shining stars”. In the second verse the piano relaxes into continuous quavers, the “flowing air”.

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