Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars


double SATB choir and organ
Mixed Voices
Amos 5:8; Psalm 139

Commissioned for the Annual Service of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts

First Performance
24.5.1995, St. James's Piccadilly

Jonathan Dove's Seek Him That Maketh is a joyful, uplifting setting of Psalm 139 arranged for accompanied SATB choir. The organ part, with its sparkling use of high registers, subtly evokes the stars. This exquisitely complements the careful sculpted vocal lines.

Programme Notes

Seek him that Maketh the Seven Stars Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion And turneth the shadow of death into the morning. (Amos 5:8) Alleluia, yea, the darkness shineth as the day, the night is light about me. (Psalm 139) The theme of light, and star-light in particular, is an endless source of inspiration for composers. I came across these words about light and stars while looking for a text to set as an anthem for the Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Service for Artists: I thought these images would have a special meaning for visual artists. The anthem begins with a musical image of the night sky, a repeated organ motif of twinkling stars that sets the choir wondering who made them. The refrain ‘Seek him’ starts in devotional longing but is eventually released into a joyful dance, finally coming to rest in serenity. Seek Him was commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts and first performed at St. James’ Piccadilly in May 1995. Jonathan Dove

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