Four Motets - Paul Schoenfeld

Sold Out
Unit Price

Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SATB Score

Choral Scores require a minimum purchase of 5 copies

Composer: Paul Schoenfeld (formerly Paul Schoenfield)

Instrumentation: SATB chorus (divisi) unaccompanied

Duration: Approx. 12 minutes

Date Written: 1995

Commissioned by: Chanticleer, The Dale Warland Singers, The Phoenix Bach Choir, and La Vie with a grant from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the NEA and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.

Program Notes

Based on Psalm 86, the neo-renaissance Four Motets was written by Paul Schoenfield in 1995. Each motet describes an aspect of a servant of God. In the first motet, the psalmist refers to his destitution, which is a poverty of good deeds. Despite his lack of merit, the psalmist seeks Divine favor. The expectation itself is an expression of service. As the noted 19th century scholar, Rabbi S.R. Hirsch, comments, the goal of prayer is not so much to attain the desired help as to reassure oneself of God's nearness. In the second verse, the psalmist declares: "for I dedicate myself to you." The "dedicated" one includes attributes of the Divine in his or her personality. The person who is dedicated, selfless, does not assert his or her own rights, but seeks the welfare of others.

This brings us to the "joy of the soul" expressed in the second motet. This joy, the feeling of the soul as it grows in moral and spiritual strength, does not depend on external circumstances. It is attainable when a person finds the power to bear hardships with dignity, and when he or she succeeds in so doing.

The third motet refers to the central idea of Psalm 86. The psalmist declares "in the day of my trouble I will call upon You, so that You will answer me," as a child who is reassured by the presence of a parent.

In the fourth motet, a request is made: "make my heart one," i.e., reconcile my inclinations so I fear nothing but the possibility of violating the sanctity due Your Name. Occasionally, a person is of "two hearts." Here, the psalmist seeks help in choosing the path of holiness.

Four Motets was commissioned by a consortium consisting of Chanticleer, The Dale Warland Singers, The Phoenix Bach Choir and La Vie. The commissioning of Four Motets was made possible by a grant from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.

Notes by Dvorah Branse Rechasim, Israel Used by permission

Streaming Licenses

We allow free licensing to streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook up to 5,000 views. At such point you exceed that, a license would be required. Other information can be found here!

Report a Performance

If you have an upcoming performance featuring the music of Paul Schoenfeld – Let us know here!

Other questions?

We're always around to help. Just reach out to us through our Contact page.