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A Song of Degrees is one movement cantata to the words of the Psalm 130 which is well known due to its initial word De profundis. The character of music is deep concentrated meditation which bursts with an extatic climax in the middle section. Mostly polyphonic texture incorporates a human voice and instrumental parts into various ensembles of equal melodic lines. The work is dedicated to the memory of Russian accordionist Iosif Purits.
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
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© 2011 by Alexander Shchetynsky