'Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?' first appeared in 'Old Plantation Hymns' (1899). It became the first spiritual to appear in a mainstream church hymnal, viz. 'The Hymnal 1940' (Episcopal).
This quartet offers settings of two of four verses. The composer has taken particular note of the word "tremble" in his word painting.
As demonstrated on the accompanying mp3, performance on tenor, bass, great bass, & F contra bass enhances the affect. Duration: 3:15
-- Anthony St. Pierre
In a lush and easy setting of a beautiful spiritual, the composer has given us a new outlet to relish the sound of lamenting recorders in slow harmony. Casual groups will enjoy this piece for its easy reading, and more advanced ensembles have plenty to work with when preparing it for a performance -- except for occasional syncopated moments, uncomplicated rhythms clear the way to focus on tone and intonation. Be sure to check out the recording, which the composer has done at 8-foot pitch, with its rich overtones and deep final chord.