In Terra Pax (chamber version)op. 39 (1954, rescored 1956)
Robert Bridges and St.Luke (E)
S+Bar solo-sm chorus-harp(or pft)-cyms-strings
Boosey & Hawkes
Written just two years before Finzi’s death in 1956, In terra pax skilfully juxtaposes words of Robert Bridges (which are set for the baritone soloist) with the familiar Christmas passage from St Luke (set for the soprano soloist and chorus). With a childlike serenity of style, the work unites all its feelings, images and familiar events into one simple, shapely musical narrative. The choral writing falls into a series of short sections: while there is doubling in all four parts, in particular the soprano and tenor sections, and while there are some isolated moments of unaccompanied singing, the individual lines are not technically demanding. Given the varied possibilities of accompaniment, In terra pax is a work that is suited to choirs of all sizes. With its seasonal theme, it makes the most attractive centre-piece for any Christmas choral programme.