Jonathan Santore, Composer
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God's World

Listen to excerpts at Walton Music, click on PREVIEW on the image to play the sound file.

  • For SATB chorus, a cappella
  • Secular text (almost entirely, despite the title), but also works in sacred contexts: setting of poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay)
  • 2:00
  • Difficulty rating (1-5): 4
  • Published by Walton Music Corporation, Inc. (listing with audio file)
  • Commissioned and premiered by the New Hampshire Master Chorale, Dan Perkins, Music Director.
  • Finalist, NUVOVOX Choral Awards
  • Selected for performance at the Society of Composers, Inc. national conference

God's World (originally titled O World, but changed later to the title of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s text) was written as my family was moving back into our home after a three and a half month absence caused by a fire. It came to me more quickly and more completely than just about any other piece I’ve written; I think it’s a song of gratitude for this place and for the friends we’ve made here.

God's World

O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)

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Jonathan Santore
Plymouth, NH
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