Four Hymns

Duration: ca. 10′

Instrumentation: cello and piano

Score: View score

Performance Note: My friend Julie Tehan asked me for some settings of hymn tunes for cello and piano in the fall of 2016 and the present piece is the result. I chose to adapt four relatively familiar ones – the great spiritual “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” “In the Sweet By and By,” “We’re Marching to Zion,” and “I Love to Tell the Story” – the latter of which actually reworks a hymn arrangement for clarinet, viola, and piano I had written in 2004. All four play to Julie’s strengths as a cellist: muscular and rhythmic in the odd-numbered hymns, soulful and lyrical in the even-numbered ones. It’s always a treat to write for friends (I’ve known Julie for almost twenty years) and, at the end of a difficult year, this piece proved a welcome – providential, even – balm.