Sooner or later every church choir ends up doing this one at least once. Peter C. Lutkin is virtually unknown as a composer outside of this one piece, his single incredible masterpiece.
The piece artfully expresses the text in a 19th-century romantic style that does not seem "smarmy" in the least. Never has this text sounded better.
The text is from Numbers 6:22-26, which reads:
"Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace."'"
This simple and common benediction is followed by a series of Amens that soar and then whisper. The effect is quite stunning, no matter how many times one has heard it.
MP3 sound sample: Minnehaha Academy Singers, 1977
CHORAL BENEDICTION, Peter C. Lutkin's "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" for SATB a cappella, comes in a PDF file of 928K that contains a three page full score plus a license page, four pages in all. Performance time should be around 1:30.
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Last update: 30 March 2018