For as the rain
was composed for a festival of contemporary church music in Uppenbarelsekyrkan in Hägersten, Stockholm, in 2009. It was commissioned by the conductor Kerstin Börjesson, along with a new Missa brevis
, for the main service in this festival. This choral postlude sets verses from Isaiah which were appointed for that particular Sunday between Epiphany and Lent, and was scored for the musical forces available: the main church choir (in six parts), a youth choir (three female voice parts) and organ. In the first section the ambiguous bitonal writing proves highly evocative with the two choirs echoing each other against the rippling organ accompaniment. For much of the piece the writing is more atonal than in earlier works, particularly in the organ part, and at the conclusion, with its riotous outburst ‘all the trees of the field shall clap their hands’, there is still a conflict between major and minor.
from notes by Rupert Gough © 2012