I have to thank a good friend and colleague M+ for introducing me to "Give me that stranger" by Michael McCarthy.
McCarthy is the canon director of music at the Washington National Cathedral. At the Cathedral, this work is performed on Good Friday in the Chapel Joseph of Arimathea.
It seems fitting to mention all of this today on the Feast of Joseph of Arimathaea.
This unusual and compelling text from the Byzantine Liturgy (Troparion for the Burial of Christ) speaks of the devotion of Joseph of Arimathea as he begs for the body of Jesus. The music reflects Byzantine sensibilities, yet is grounded in twentieth century American choral style. A soloist sings in recitative and then against an undulating choral repetition of the title words, telling the story as if speaking to Christ. Chilling and otherworldly.
I have already ordered my copies.
Direct link to mp3 on the web.
Information about the score.
Spelling Tangent: The Episcopal Church seems to like "Arimathaea", but everybody else, "Arimathea".
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