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Symphony of Psalms

Analysis: Second Movement

Note that the three movements which make up the Symphony of Psalms follow each other without a break, and that as in the case of the Symphonies of Wind Instruments the term symphony is used here to merely to indicate an ensemble of musical strands and does not imply any particular form in the classical sense of the word. As noted earlier, the basic structure of the music has no connection with `sonata form'; the first movement is a Prelude, and the second a Double Fugue for voices and instruments. The theme of the instrumental Fugue is stated by the oboe and is then taken up by the flute. Oboes and flute then also play the first development of the Fugue, in a soft organ-like register.

The subject of the vocal Fugue:

is stated by the trebles, contraltos, tenors, and basses; then a stretto Expectans expectavi Dominum from the second Fugue leads into a passage for choir a cappella, which is followed by the stretto from the first Fugue, by the orchestra alone. The `act of hope', Et immisit in os meum canticum novum, is stated by full choir and orchestra is followed by a sudden hush with Et sperabunt in Domino in unison leading to a final Alleluia going into the third movement, a sort of Hymn of Praise on the text of Psalm 150.

Transition from the second movement to the third movement:

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