Behind the Clouds

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
solo (high voice), SATBB a cappella

A carol on the four themes of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. The tone is mysterious; the melody reaching steadily upward, filled with longing. Made for a strong soloist (soprano or tenor) with a wide range (C-F) and a mixed chorus with divisi men. The lyrics are inspired by my great-grandfather, Rev. Bates G. Burt, a minister in Michigan, who sent a prose poem entitled "Behind the Clouds" in his Christmas card in 1942 (incidentally, printed alongside the first Christmas carol by his son, the now-famous composer Alfred Burt).

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
AB-059-C8
Duration: 
4:00
Total Pages: 
3
Premiere
Premiere Date: 
12/23/2008
Premiere Ensemble: 
MPR Carolers
Text
Text Author or Source: 
Poem by Abbie Betinis, after Bates G. Burt
Language: 
English
Text: 

Behind the clouds that darken human life,
Forever shines the Light of God;
And whensoever those clouds may go,
Dispelling the shadows in which we so
blindly grope,
Then is it, indeed,
Hope.

With ears attuned to heaven's prophecies,
Our hearts await a Prince of Peace,
And whensoever that Prince appear,
And we in darkness, and we in fear
find release,
Then is it, indeed,
Peace.

Awake! Awake! Lift up your hearts downcast,
For sorrow shall transform at last,
And whensoever that Rose unfurl'd,
Invites Hosannas for all the world
to employ,
Then is it, indeed,
Joy.

O come, O come, come closer still tonight,
The pains of life remain, but Light...!
And whensoever that Light breaks through,
And we, in radiance, reflect a new
world above,
Then is it, indeed,
Love.

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© 2008 Abbie Burt Betinis. Reprinted by permission of the author.