The Anthem Set • Denis’ Blog, Portfolio and Resumé

The Anthem Set

Original hymns for four-voiced choir

Shiny brass by Dukas Ju under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Hymns for spiritual adoration and singing in a congregational setting.

Originally, I composed these airs as anthems – hence the English name to French lyrics. For a long time, they remained without a four-part arrangement and without words. But in the summer of 2014, I first wrote the second hymn’s lyrics, Pour le seul roi (For the Only King). It must be remarked that the texts, according to my habit, have the characteristic of not vocalising the silent “e’s” at the end of the words, which modifies their signing as well as the number of syllables necessary. Although that be contrary to the normal habit, I consider that their poetic vocalisation is an unnecessary affectation remaining from French poetry.

Tu es serviteur et héros

hymn

Date: 2014
Lyrics [translation]:
  1. Be honoured very highly,
    For servant and hero you are!
    A thing that we had never seen:
    Son of Man of a broken face
    By chastisement we inflicted
    Be Saviour!
    Subject of joy
    And of gladness
    Object of faith,
    Of valor.
  2. Each following his own way,
    Taking him for a man of no significance,
    Not seeing the arm of God:
    Thus we were before
    Without this great king, prince of Zion:
    But His Spirit makes light shine:
    Subject of joy
    And of gladness
    Object of faith,
    Of valor.
Notes:

This hymn was directly inspired by the words of Isaiah in chapters 52 and 53. It contrasts the divinity of the Messiah with his servant's mission. It is praise to God from we who are of the nations to whom those things had never before been announced.

Pour le seul roi

hymn

Date: 2014
Lyrics [translation]:
  1. Our work below
    Is for the only King:
    Your throne, O Lord, is forever!
    You vanquish by peace,
    Evil you hate:
    Make us similar to you.
  2. We are servants
    Following the Lord:
    In his path victory will be!
    Oh, let us see
    Your future glory:
    Always fill our hearts.
  3. We have promised
    To defeat the enemy:
    Let us abandon every passing thing!
    And when difficulty comes
    Reveal your grace:
    We are supported by You.
Notes:

For this hymn, I was inspired to the words by Psalm 45, and especially by verse 2, which had come to my mind beforehand:

I say: “My work is for the king!
That my tongue be as the pen of a skilled writer! …”

The hymn's theme is faithfulness in our work to the Lord, which is a quality we easily lack in today's materialistic and fun-loving society, and is a reminder that we will find the victory in the Lord our King, and not through this world.

Enlève, élève

hymn

Ensemble: four-voiced choir (SATB)
Lyrics [translation]:
  1. See my desire and change my being,
    Remove what must not be.
    Be my wisdom
    And forgive when I am weak.
  2. Remove the sin in me,
    Heighten what is Yours;
    Come to tear
    And to forgive,
    To put aside apathy.
    Sow in me a thought:
    The thought of eternity;
    And may it always produce the faith
    That in heaven I shall see You!
  3. When I want to avoid the price,
    When I complain and stay behind,
    Turn my look
    And give it always my Saviour as light.
  4. Make the thought of Your heaven
    Reach this rebellious world:
    Without Your power
    How will it have eyes that see?

En toi mes yeux voient

hymn

Ensemble: four-voiced choir (SATB)
Date: 2015
Lyrics [translation]:
  1. In You my eyes see all that is good,
    And that by perfection you are filled.
    But when I consider what is mine,
    I see how sin weakens me.
  2. By your victory I raise my face:
    Oh by what forgiveness I am clothed in You!
    Only he who believes will be called wise:
    Work and build up the little faith in me.
  3. Glory and merit are yours in my eyes:
    One day all will recognise that you are God,
    But being free I well see already
    That I might be victorious in no other.
Notes:

This hymn of adoration is based on no particular text. But it refers to at least two distinct passages: the phrase

By your victory I raise my face

is a reference to Genesis 4:7, which says:

If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him.

Also,

One day all will recognise that you are God,

is a clear association to many biblical verses such as Psalm 22:27, which states:

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you.

Oh Christ, viens!

hymn

Ensemble: four-voiced choir (SATB)
Lyrics [translation]:
  1. All that is good comes from my Father:
    Without His word there would be no creation.
    Honoured I am to be son of His flesh:
    In His presence I may remain.
  2. Praying towards Zion like the saints of old
    I wait, looking up: Oh Christ, come!
  3. One day those who mocked You
    From hatred will go to trembling.
    Eyes filled with tears, throat tight with emotion,
    Christian, see the joyous achievement!
  4. How our victories are but losses:
    We will never attain your justice:
    But veiled by the blood, our consequences covered,
    Hear us, and may your hand act.

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