I See Heaven

for unaccompanied SATB chorus

Phillip Neil Martin

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for unaccompanied SATB chorus

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Composer Phillip Neil Martin

Year of Composition



ca. 8'

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-pnm1ish1


The main text for I See Heaven is taken from a Sino-Japanese poem which adorns the initial pages of some gagaku part-books. The origin or use of the text is unknown but it may well be the text of an obsolete vocal part. The translation of the poem is by Eta Harich-Schneider. The title is taken from the Vision of Saint Stephen Acts 7:56 and it is with these words, I See Heaven, that the piece ends.

The piece falls into two parts that are unequal in length with each part gradually building in volume and complexity. Each part contains several sections that interrelate and oscillate between the harmonic focal points of the piece, A-flat and A-natural, as these two notes seek to dominate the trajectory of the piece. The second part is a simple development of material already presented which builds towards a loud climax as the harmonic focal points converge. This culminates in a high duet between the two soprano parts before the music dissipates into the Coda and soft utterances of the title. I See Heaven is dedicated to Mr. Andrew Mallows.

I See Heaven was commissioned by by Christopher Glynn and the St. Stephen’s Festival of Arts and Faith 2005. I See Heaven was first performed by the choir of St. Stephen’s Festival of Arts and Faith at St. Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road on 10th July 2005.