The Nativity Story (for Narrator and Orchestra) (composed May 2013) is a tonal, highly accessible work that performs in conjunction with Narrator’s directly from the scripture in the New Testament. The work unfolds gently as the tone of the story is set in beguiling and alluring hushed, veiled tones. Figures rotate and unfold, as development towards the angels that appear to Mary to alert her of the coming birth of Christ build in tension and climax. The music progressively infiltrates to large tutti sections of gripping climaxes and luminous and lyrical passionate statements.
As the Narrator progresses to the telling of the Wise Men and the travails of Mary and Joseph to the city of Bethlehem, an expressive temperature steadily rises until, without break, thematic recurrences again take over. A sustained rhythmic intricacy continues over slow-moving harmonies that are at once, reflective and confident. The scene becomes engrossingly more opulent as there is an orchestral interlude before the final lines of scripture. In grand waves of cinematic flow, the deft musical scene changes again to show off its principal themes that ride comfortably in the orchestra to great sweeps of grandeur that are attractive and picturesque. Reminiscent of Britten operatic traditions, the music’s well-crafted, well-scored orchestrations show potent Brass fanfares and glittering flourishes that highly and cleverly spin dramatic heights to compelling power.
It is a soaring conclusion of promise, and rare emotional power – blended with wrenching harmonic impact, the ambitious works rounds a lavish ending of considerable merit and effective stretches of heartening ovation and exuberance.
also available in: