Why Weepest Thou, In Wild Array?

Length: 15
Price: £2.50

Wells Cathedral, 18th Apr 2003

reflective, reconciliation, polyphonic, lyrical, joy, conflict

Publisher: unpublished - contact me for more information

Genre: Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument

Why Weepest Thou, In Wild Array?

for Bath Camerata

Dedicated to Nigel Perrin and Bath Camerata

This work was written for Bath Camerata for performance in Wells Cathedral on Good Friday 18 April 2003. It uses up to twenty individual voices in a variety of choral formations, originally in order to make the most of the dramatic space of the site of the first performance.

The sections of this narrative work follow a text derived from The Winedrawers’ Play in the medieval cycle of the York Mystery Plays. This short play depicts the meeting between Jesus and Mary Magdalen after the crucifixion. Mary Magdalen, heart-broken, does not initially recognise Jesus, thinking him to be a gardener. But Jesus consoles her, reveals the truth of the resurrection, and the play ends with Mary’s affirmation ‘Of love now art thou crowned King’.

The current version comprises three choruses with an overall running time of 15 minutes:

I 'What Shall Become of Me?' (Mary Magdalen)

II 'What wouldst thou with that body bare?' (Jesus)

III 'Now for joy I long to sing' (Mary Magdalen)

The short clip is an extract from the opening of movement II.

All three choruses were specially recorded by Bath Camerata conducted by Nigel Perrin at St Mary's Bathwick in 2004. Sound engineer Alastair Goolden.