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Wilby: An English Passion according to Matthew

Mixed Voices (SATB+)

Wilby: An English Passion according to Matthew

Mixed Voices (SATB+)

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Publisher: RSCM Press
ISBN: E0469
Published: 20/01/2020

An English Passion is scored for five soloists, double choir, and two organs, it also includes hymns to be sung by the congregation. As the title suggests, it sets the Passion narrative against the background of an English context, rather as renaissance painters evolved a tradition of setting devotional images against natural landscapes. The words of Christ are reserved for the tenor soloist, whereas those of Saint Matthew are divided between the other voices. The musical setting, which demands full participation from its hearers, is designed to involve rather than impress, and may be seen by some as more suited to performance within a liturgical context. However, as many other greater settings of the Passion readily demonstrate, concert performances also have an Evangelical outreach that few can deny. The Gospel text transcends any musical composition, just as Christ’s Passion transports its witnesses to an internal space of contemplation, reaching out to all who share a common humanity, of all faiths and none.



Part One


2.Processional Hymn: All glory, laud and honour8

3.Scene: The Upper Room13

Hymn 225

4.Scene: Denial26

5.Scene: Gethsemane and the Arrest30

6.Scene: Before Caiaphas43

7.Scene: Peter’s Denial47

8.Scene: Before the Governor52

9.Hymn 3: The Silent Saviour stands alone54

10.Scene: Barabbas56


Part Two


11.Scene: Golgotha66

12.Hymn 4: When I survey the wondrous cross87


14.Procession of Christ and His Cross102

15.Recessional Hymn: It is a thing most wonderful103


Philip Wilby

Encouraged to take up composition by Herbert Howells, Philip Wilby studied at Keble College Oxford, and was made Professor of Composition at Leeds University in 2002. Until recently, he lived in Bristol where his wife Wendy had been serving as Canon Precentor at the cathedral. In 2008, he was granted a Dutch Government BUMA award for his innovative works for brass band, and in 2009 an honorary fellowship by the Royal School of Church Music. He is proud to have served as the musical associate at the Black Dyke Band for 30 years, with whom he made his recent CD ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, which was awarded The British Bandsman’s Award for CD of the Year 2019.