Chorus with Handbells

There are a lot of short pieces for chorus (often unison) with simple handbell parts, but not many full-length works with elaborately-worked out accompaniments entirely in the bells.

This work has the effect of a Lesson, an emotional Interpretation, and a Blessing. Stylistically it moves gradually from ancient to Romantic modern. The form is episodic, in 8 distinct sections, starting with a dialog between Cantor and chorus and building successively to two big climaxes, the first bitter, the second sweet.

Along the way, the handbells provide altar-bell-like punctuations (one almost expects to smell incense), cadence-markers, and short transitions at the start and very end, plus extended walking-line ostinato accompaniment under two perorations in the middle, the second becoming thick and dissonant, and a burst of clangorous, continuous light at the second climax on the word “God”.

Lyrics by
view score Love and Chocolate SATB divisi piano, opt. fl 3′ David/ Randi Avshalomov 2005
Order This» Valentine’s Day version of the Chocolate Carol, more romantic lyrics. [Also: simplified version for solo quartet SATB/piano.] Lyrics»