- Prologue: This Prophecy
- Coming with the Clouds
- From the Throne
- Worthy is the Lamb
- A Great and Wondrous Sign
- Fallen is Babylon the Great
- Hallelujah (The Marriage of the Lamb)
- I Saw a New Heaven
- Epilogue: The Alpha and the Omega
- Duration: 26 minutes
- Chorus: SATB
- Published by: Walton GIA
“Revelation … shows how inventive [Hawes] can be with harmony … moving lines in contrary motion to create crunchy dissonances then cleverly melding mellifluous modal melodies with bright tonal interjections … ” GRAMOPHONE
“There is no denying the beauty and immediate allure of Hawes’s writing. Revelation has considerable attractiveness and appeal … the mood is enraptured [with] a dramatic and visionary quality.” CHURCH TIMES
The Book of Revelation is one of the most puzzling books in the Bible. Its pages are full of bizarre imagery alternating between darkness and light, good and evil. Battles are played out between demonic beasts and angels, against a backdrop of wars and plagues. All of this creates the potential for highly dramatic musical settings covering a variety of moods and emotions.
The texts used mirror those of the Bible, so there is a Prologue and an Epilogue which form the outer pillars of the work. Between these are seven pieces depicting some of the main scenes in St John the Divine’s prophecy: the number seven is a recurring motif of the book – seven churches, the scroll’s seven seals, seven spirits and so on.
This Prophecy, the prologue to the work, introduces the collection in a calm and prayerful manner with its quasi-plainsong lines and quiet sense of expectancy. Coming with the Clouds is a complete contrast and reaches into the apocalyptic nature of The Book of Revelation. The choir becomes divided into two with antiphonal effects and moments of intense climax. From the Throne moves into compound rhythms and more biting textures as it portrays the flashes of lightning and peels of thunder. Here there are moments of real excitement but also moments of awe and wonder as we are invited to gaze upon the seven lamps blazing before the throne. Worthy is the Lamb returns to a single-choir format and, unlike Handel’s setting in Messiah, invokes a peaceful intimacy as the listener is drawn into the deep pain of looking upon ‘the lamb who was slain’. A Great and Wondrous Sign has echoes of This Prophecy and the Marian references give rise to a piece which is pure and devotional in character. There is a sense of darkness and doom in Babylon the Great where the falling choral phrases of the opening bars and the more dissonant harmonies create a feeling of falling into the abyss. Complete contrast follows once again, with the jubilant fanfare rhythms of Hallelujah. The interaction of the two choirs creates a mood of joy – almost playfulness – but, above all, there is an increasing sense of majesty as we are invited to rejoice and give Him the glory. As John gazes upon ‘a new heaven and a new earth’, so the music of I Saw a New Heaven returns to quiet and intense prayerfulness. The bright A major tonality and solid homophonic textures give a feeling of hope and security. The Epilogue views The Alpha and the Omega in two separate ways: first as something too wonderful to bear, and then as the most magnificent revelation of all. Consequently, there is a wide range of dynamics here before the hushed, deep chords which speak of the end of all things.
The Sheet Music for Hallelujah and Worthy is the Lamb are both available as standalone works.
Worthy is the Lamb:
1. Prologue: This Prophecy (Revelation 1:3 ESV)
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
2. Coming with the Clouds (Revelation 1:7 ESV)
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
3. From the Throne (Revelation 4:5 ESV)
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.
4. Worthy is the Lamb (Revelation 5:12 ESV)
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!
5. A Great and Wondrous Sign (Revelation 12:1 ESV)
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
6. Fallen is Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2 ESV)
Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
7. Hallelujah (The Marriage of the Lamb) (Revelation 19:6-7 ESV)
Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his Bride has made herself ready.
8. I Saw a New Heaven (Revelation 21:1 ESV)
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
9. Epilogue: The Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13 ESV)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”