ANNUNCIATION
Music: Kevin Siegfried
Text: Jeannette Lindholm
SATB divisi unaccompanied
MorningStar Music Publishers #MSM-50-0452  

The day of Mary’s encounter with Gabriel is considered in three movements corresponding to the section of Jeannette Lindholm’s poem Triptych. The first movement places Mary within the first century context with all its mundane trappings. Wordless alto, tenor, and bass accompany the soprano narrative until the entrance of the archangel, when all voices join in announcing the visitor. The movement builds in intensity, yet it ends incomplete with Gabriel still “outside the door.” The final forte A9 chord ends the first section in blaze of light.

The second movement opens quietly in E-flat major, a poetically jarring shift, that ones choir may have trouble negotiating. The second movement begins with the words of the Ave Maria, continuing on with Lindholm’s ravishing wondering at the mystery. The last movement shifts to D major, again posing a challenge for the unaccompanied singers. This last section is the shortest of the three, comprising a simple benediction.

The roughly seven-minute work contains touches of pan-diatonicism, such as added-note harmonies in inversions and planning open fifths, yet Siegfried’s inherent lyricism breaks through to create moments of melodic beauty. The music is medium in difficulty, mainly because of the richly voiced chords and sudden harmonic shifts between movements. Larger choirs of moderate technical ability should have little difficulty conveying the warmth of the text and music. 

The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, October 2019, Vol. 28, Number 8