Mixed choir with some divisi and solo viola
This piece was inspired by a conversation with Canon Adrian Esdaile about the importance of individual words in the opening of John's gospel. It uses the translation by William Tyndale, which preserves John's Greek word order. The device, known as chiasmus, puts "Word" before "God" in the first part and reverses the order for the second, balancing part. The music reflects the text, with crossings over and inversions of lines and motifs. Most distinctive is the gentle sonority of the viola, treated as an extra wordless line.
Helen Williams' viola improvisations for the Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer's Quiet Days are available from the Fellowship's website.
Suitable for Christmas and for commemorations of St John (27th December) and William Tyndale (6th October).