A work new work in progress!

'The Word'

A cantata for Christmas

words and music by Chris Reynolds 2020

Set for SSATBB, with satb soloist.


The original version is scored for piano, obeo, viola and cello,
( there is also an organ transcription for church choirs )

It follows the story from Genesis .... " In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth"
and touches on the Old Testament prophecies of the birth of a Messiah, and then moves into the New Testament stories of Jesus's birth


Click here to listen to a sampled recording ....
hopefully a 'live' one will be recorded this year!

you might like to open it in a separate tab, so you can follow the lyrics as well

if you're interested in performing with your choir, you can find the rehearsal tracks here

The Rondo

These are Biblical passages, bedded in a rondo which is initially set in a double harmonic minor scale ...
from which come that sense of the Orient, and of mystery.
(The idea came from an early morning raga form, - sung to me in a pub one evening! )

The movement from the Old Testament,
" In the beginning God created heaven and Earth .... ", to the New ..
"In the beginning was the Word ....."
is marked by a gradual transition between minor and major scales

The Songs

The first song 'In the beginning' ( Genesis 1:1)

This owes much to the Hindu tradition of Shiva, dancing all into being, the weaving of a cloak of flesh for the indwelling of spirit.For me, this vision of creation is congruent with that of particle physics and cosmology, and encompasses the 'hard' problem of conciousness.

The second song 'Can it Be' ?

.... echoes the question set by John Betchamen

The third 'A virgin shall be with child' ( Isaiah, 7:14 )

explores the prophecy of the annunciation

The forth, 'The Coldest Desert skies'

owes much to T.S.Elliott, not only his 'Journey of the Magi'
but also to 'Little Gidding'

The fifth, 'How does this wind blow?'

shares the puzzlement of Shepherds, out of their depth.

The last song, ' Christ is Born'

a peal of bells for Christmas morning.


There is an electronic, 'sampled' version
available to listen to, not a full recording as yet,
but it gives an idea of the piece.
The lyrics are included in full.

to listen to the recording, click here..

to read the lyrics, click here..

to go to the rehearsal tracks, click here..


thanks to George Streatfeild for the use of his photographs