Shaw, Martin: The Redeemer. Rental
Full score, vocal scores and instrumental material
Duration: 52 minutes
For Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass solo full SATB chorus, organ or orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp and strings).
Part I: The Conflict of Good and Evil – 11 minutes
Part II: Agony and Betrayal – 16.31 minutes
Part III: The Crucifixion – 25 minutes
Final Chorus – 2.50 minutes
Martin Shaw felt that The Redeemer was his finest work. It was written after his retirement as Diocesan Director of Music for the See of Essex in 1940. Its theme is the Passion of Christ; the words, selected by Shaw’s wife Joan Cobbold, are taken from the Gospels and poetry written between the 4th and 20th centuries.
It was widely admired at the time of its publication, not least by Shaw’s life-long friend and colleague, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who said that it was “a notable work, and ought to be sung everywhere”. Written with Shaw’s expert flexibility for choral music, it can be sung by large or small choirs, in cathedral, church or village; to be accompanied by either an orchestra or an organ.
The harmonies are not difficult, and there are no awkward leads. However the organ accompaniment (if there is to be one) needs a competent organist, and the sopranos need to be able to sing top A comfortably if they are to sing the optional final chorus “Praise to the Holiest in the Height”.
The work is divided into three parts, each exploring an aspect of the Christian story and the human response to it.