SATB Chorus; 18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124 - Timp - 6Perc - Cimb(or Hp) - Pf - Str.
A masque in five scenes for chorus and orchestra with text from Saint Francis of Assisi in Italian
The religious hymn of Saint Francis of Assisi (1186-1226) is about the glorification of all creations in their pure simplicity and humility. Some sections of the words in this version are embedded in an outdoor masque (festival masked play) of five parts without intermission. This is the second time the Standford has arranged this anthem. The earlier version (Cantico delle creature - 1976) was written for solo voice and string orchestra.
Scene 1: The musical portrait of the old Assisi. Dawn. Light breaks through the darkness; we see Saint Francis on the cliffs, who is full of awe at observing the boundless world around him.
Scene 2: The saint begins his prayer in which he glorifies God, the light-giving brother Sun sister Moon and the stars, which make the sky os clear for us, the brother Air, the wind and the weather, the virgin Water sister, the Fire brother, who lights the night with strength and cheer, as well as theMother Earth who gives us our fruits and flowers.
Scene 3: The saint’s prayer is interrupted by hundreds of birds coming from all directions and seem to darken the sky in their numbers.
Scene 4: Trumpets sound from all directions: God is glorified by all those willing to be forgiven, for they are full of God’s love.
Scene 5: Saint Francis kneels in humility, birds encircle his head. He glorifies God and Death, from whom no living creature can escape; but for those who live according to God’s rules, eternal life is granted.