Richard Allain's The Beloved for SATB choir and Organ.
This work was commissioned by Merton College, Oxford as part of the Merton Choirbook, a collection of music being assembled to celebrate Merton College's 750th anniversary in 2014.
The Beloved was first performed on the 18th January 2015 in Merton College Chapel by the choir of Merton College, conducted by Benjamin Nicholas.
This work is a setting of text by Thomas Allain:
The dove will linger in flight,
As the Light is bathed in water,
The water bathed in light.
And a voice will tear the heavens apart
He alone hears now within his heart:
Whispering his delight.
Richard Allain's The Beloved, (Novello) another Merton College commission, and also with words by his brother on the theme of Christ's baptism, gives ample opportunity to demonstrate the virtues of their new organ in a toccata-like interlude illustrating God's voice tearing 'the heavens apart'. After this climax the piece subsides to a pianissimo heterophonic declamation of God's pleasure in his Son. A powerful piece if one has both ·the vocal and instrumental resources to do it justice.
Organists Review, December 2017