2013, for SATB, Alto, 2 Percussionists or Piano
Length: 16 minutes
Revision: 1
Difficulty: Difficult
Cost per Copy: $5.00

Fragments is a setting of 8 texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as translated by Dr. Geza Vermes.

The eight texts chosen for this work focus on elements of questioning, awe, thankfulness, and humility: elements that  are common to just about any universal truth we seek, whether it be a truth that seeks to explain or a truth that seeks to develop right-relationships.

Fragments is for full choir, 2 percussionists, and solo alto.  The rehearsal score has a piano part that can be used in place of the percussionists.

Fragments was commissioned by the Yavapai College Choral Union and premiered by the same group on March 3, 2013.

Purchased copies of Fragments include the full score for singers and conductor, percussion parts, and a rehearsal score for a pianist.

Practice recordings for Fragments can be found HERE.


Movement I

Blessed are those who hold to Wisdom's precepts, and do not hold to the ways of iniquity.
Blessed are those who rejoice in her, and do not burst forth in ways of folly.
Blessed are those who seek her with pure hands, and do not pursue her with a treacherous heart.  
Blessed is the man who has attained Wisdom, and walks in the Law of the Most High.

from the Beatitudes, Qumran Cave 4, Scroll 525, Fragment 2, lines 1 to 3
Movement II

What then is man that is earth,
   that is shaped from clay and returns to the dust,
that Thou shouldst give him to understand such marvels
   and make known to him the counsel of Thy truth?

from the Thanksgiving Hymn No. 19, lines 4 to 5
Movement III

I thank Thee, O Lord,
  for Thou hast placed me beside a fountain of streams
  in an arid land,
and close to a spring of waters
   in a dry land,
and beside a watered garden.

from the Thanksgiving Hymn No. 18, lines 1 to 4
Movement IV

Light shines and joy bursts forth;
   mourning vanishes and sorrow flees.
Peace is revealed, dread ceases.
A spring has opened up for an eternal blessing
   and for healing in all the everlasting ages.

from the Thanksgiving Hymns, Column 2, lines 5 to 7
Movement V

I am as a sailor in a ship
   amid furious seas;
their waves and all their billows
   roar against me.
There is no calm in the whirlwind
   that I may restore my soul,
no path that I may straighten my way
   on the face of the waters.
The deeps resound to my groaning
   and my soul has journeyed to the gates of death.
But I shall be as one who enters a fortified city,
   as one who seeks refuge behind a high wall
   I will lean on Thy truth, O my God.
For Thou wilt set the foundation on rock...

from the Thanksgiving Hymn No. 14, lines 22 to 26
Movement VI

May He bless you with all good and preserve you from all evil!  
May He lighten your heart with life-giving wisdom
   and grant you eternal knowledge!  
May He raise His merciful face towards you for everlasting bliss!

Blessing from The Community Rule, Qumran Cave 1, Column 2, lines 2 to 4
Movement VII

I hold my peace;
   what more shall I say than this?
I have spoken in accordance with my knowledge,
   out of the righteousness given to a creature of clay.

from the Thanksgiving Hymn No. 23, line 32
Movement VIII

These things I know
   by the wisdom which comes from Thee,
for Thou hast unstopped my ears
   to marvelous mysteries.

from the Thanksgiving Hymn No. 6, line 22

- translated by Dr. Geza Vermes, text used with permission

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