"Everlasting Light" is based on two contrasting hymns dealing with light. "Conditor Alme Siderum" is one of the oldest Christian hymns, whose simplicity and rhythmical flow reflect the freedom of speech. Written seven centuries later,"Wie Schoen Leuchtet" is at the other end of the spectrum: measured, straight forward and fanfare-like. The introduction intersperses dramatic ashes of light and the resulting shimmer (via the echo technique) with phrases of the chant. The chant is treated in its entirety at measure 19, and then antiphonally at measure 27 with its inversion (light reflected). The German chorale is heard at measure 40, and again in augmentation at measure 62 layered over the chant, each phrase of which is echoed (reflected) an octave lower. The piece ends with a return to the opening .ashes of light, this time the shimmering sixteenth-notes being more pronounced.
Voicing: 3, 4 or 5 octaves handbells with optional Bb2
Composer: Sarum plainsong, 9th century and Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Arranger: Fred Gramann
Tune: "Conditor Alme Siderum" and "Wie Schoen Leuchtet"
Raise your voices strong and clear, for the Song of God is here!' These words come from the angel of the Lord, the Wise Men, and finally the members of the choir, inviting 'all Christians young and ol...