Peace I leave with you

  • Composed 2018
  • Peter Burton based on John 14–16
  • Peter Burton
  • Scored for SATB and keyboard
  • Difficulty: Easy

“Peace I leave with you” was composed for the remembrance services coming up this year ( November 2018 ). This year is particularly poignant since it is the centenary of the end of the first world war.

When trying to think of an appropriate text I was drawn to Christ’s final discourse with his disciples. Here, three main themes develop – those of peace, love and joy. These words speak back to then but also now as we still experience the effects of war.

The keyboard starts with a gentle, walking theme. This acts as the backbone to the piece. The choir enters in unison singing over this theme. Their tune is a hymn although it develops through the verses. It provides a reflective quality which is what I felt was needed.

Each verse builds as we move from peace, love then joy. The rhythms and
harmonies become more complex to create this sense of building. Finally the choir, like the voice of Christ, looks back over the discourse and reminds them what has been said – “Peace, love, joy I give to you”.

The keyboard returns us to where we started ending on a unison note and a chance for reflection.

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