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Alpha and Omega (2015)

for double SATB choir | 00:05:30

by Melissa Dunphy | text by John Bunyan

Commissioned for the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus (Philip Barnes, Artistic Director) by John and Barbara Uhlemann, for the SLCC's composer-in-residence program.

"The new composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, contributed a new song, “Alpha and Omega.” For two choirs, it effectively juxtaposes texts from “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and the Book of Revelation, in a solidly written piece of choral writing." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

I saw in my dream:
I heard in my dream
that all the bells in the city rang again for joy;
The gates were opened,
and behold, the city shone like the sun:
the streets were paved with gold;
and in them walked many men,
with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands,
and golden harps to sing praises withal.
I heard in my dream, that it was said,
“Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.”
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord!”
And after that they shut up the gates,
which when I had seen,
I wished myself among them.
--Adapted from "The Pilgrim's Progress," John Bunyan

I saw a new heaven and a new earth:
for the first heaven and earth were passed away.
And I saw the holy city coming down out of heaven.
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
And God shall wipe away all tears;
and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain:
for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
I will give unto him that is athirst
of the fountain of the water of life freely.
-- Adapted from Revelation 21, King James Bible

Oh, what a beautiful city!
-- Traditional spiritual

Artwork by Gustave Doré


Performances

  • 14 Nov, 2015: Saint Louis Chamber Chorus at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, MO
  • 27 Sep, 2015: Saint Louis Chamber Chorus at Third Baptist Church, St Louis, MO