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In this setting of Psalm 117 the composer has created an unusually serene and ethereal setting considering the meaning of the text. Most composers that have written settings of this Psalm "Praise the Lord, all you Nations" have written music of a robust nature and celebration. However, this setting not only uses Hebrew text but the whole composition with the exception of one bar is dynamically quiet and reflects not so much on praising the Lord, but the love that the Lord shares with us, hence the title of the work (“Unfailing love”).
Written for unaccompanied mixed choir, this is a simple four-part composition. The choral texture is largely homophonic with melodic lines gently emerging in the soprano and tenor voices which then sink back into the blanket of choral sound. Generally, the work is tonal but it features harmonic clusters which delays the expectation of the final resolution. This is a work that with rehearsal all choirs will find very rewarding to sing and perform.
Joanna herself says the following about this work:
“Unfailing Love” was the first choral piece I ever wrote. In my final year of university, I had the privilege of meeting the American composer, Morten Lauridsen and immediately was inspired to write a choral piece. So I sat down to write, and four hours later, “Unfailing Love” was completed.