Peter Bloesch Listen

Choral ~ Holiday ~ A Cappella

“Out of Your Sleep, Arise and Wake!”

(An original setting of the anonymous English text)


SCORING:  SATB a cappella (frequent divisi)

DURATION:  ca. 2:30   —   DIFFICULTY:  5/5   —   PAGES IN PDF SCORE:  15

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This piece is a jubilant and dancelike setting of a stirring ancient text, which describes in mystical language how the wonder of Christ's birth should cause us to wake from our sleep.

I created this piece to be challenging but rewarding. The vocal lines are quite contrapuntal and seem to chase each other throughout the piece. This creates a complex tapestry of movement and energy befitting the proclamation of Arise and wake!

Out of Your Sleep, Arise and Wake!

Anonymous 14th or 15th-century text

Complete text:

Out of your sleep, arise and wake!
For God mankind now hath ytake   [ytake = taken]
All of a maid without any make;   [make = equal]
Of all women she beareth the bell.   [she beareth the bell = she's the leader]

And through a maiden fair and wise
Now we are made of full great price;
Now angels kneel to our service,
And at this time all this befell.

Now we are brighter than the sun;
Now we in heaven on high shall won;   [won = dwell]
Blessèd be God, this game is begun.

Whoever was thrall, now is he free!   [thrall = in bondage]
Whoever was small, now great is she!
Now shall God deem both thee and me
Unto His bliss, if we do well.

Now may we all to heaven wend;
Now heaven and earth to us they bend;
He that was foe now is our friend.
This is no nay that I you tell.   [no nay = no idle tale]

Now blessèd Brother, grant us grace
At doomès day to see Thy face,
And in Thy court to have a place,
That we may there sing Thee Nowell.

Watch video below!