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Calm the Tempests of My Heart

An invocation asking for peace within one's own heart
Poet/Lyricist: 
Søren Kierkegaard
Commissioned by American Composers Forum's Faith Partners Program

Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kirkegaard suffered from "melancholy" – now known as depression – for most of his life. In this intimate prayer, Kirkegaard refers to this condition as "the tempests of my heart," as he seeks for the peace and stillness that eludes him.

Note: This Flexible Voicing Edition contains three completely different arrangements of this song, 2, 3, and 4-part voicings suitable for treble, bass or mixed choir, or for unison congregational singing.

Item Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Audio Peruse Delivery Method (Print vs. Digital) Price Quantity
SEA-114-00 2, 3, or 4-part chorus a cappella - Choral Score
2' E Sheet Music $3.00
SEA-114-00DEL 2, 3, or 4-part chorus a cappella - Choral Score
2' E Licensed PDF $3.00
SEA-114-01 SSA a cappella - Choral Score
2' E https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/SEA-114-00%20-%20Calm%20the%20Tempests%20of%20my%20Heart%20%28SSA%29%20-%20RECORDING.mp3 Sheet Music $3.00
SEA-114-01DEL SSA a cappella - Choral Score
2' E https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/SEA-114-00%20-%20Calm%20the%20Tempests%20of%20my%20Heart%20%28SSA%29%20-%20RECORDING.mp3 Licensed PDF $3.00

Calm the Tempests of My Heart

Søren Kierkegaard
Adapted by Elizabeth Alexander

Calm the tempests of my heart, O my God.
Calm the tempests of my heart, O my God.
Be still, O my soul, so that God may rest in thee,
Bringing peace that the world can never take away.

Original Prayer by Sören Kierkegaard:

Calm the waves of this heart, O God; calm its tempests.
Calm yourself, O my soul, so that God is able to rest in you, so that God’s peace may cover you.
Yes, You can give us peace, O God, peace that the whole world can never take away.

Composer's Note: 

This song was inspired by both spiritual and practical needs.  Conductor Joyce Harding was looking for a meditative choral response which could be sung at all of her church services during Lent – but the composition of the choir was apt to change week to week, depending on members’ availability!

For this reason, Calm the Tempests of My Heart was conceived with performance flexibility in mind.  I crafted 2-part, 3-part, and 4-part voicings, so that it could be sung by a variety of high voice, low voice and mixed voice ensembles.  Far from a rote exercise in arranging, this project gave me the chance to fashion a different character for each voicing, revealing different facets of Kierkegaard’s timeless prayer.

Performers: 

Premiere: Choir of Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown / Joyce Harding (Watertown, MN)
AKSARA / Victoria Schneider. Elliot Hospital Service of Remembrance (Manchester, NH)
Choir of Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship / Deborah Mensh (Lafayette, CO)
Choir of Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church / Lila Farrar. Benefit for The Center for Nonviolent Solutions (Brookfield, MA)
Choir of First Parish in Concord / Beth Norton (Concord, MA)
Choir of Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown / Joyce Harding (Watertown, MN)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica / DeReau Farrar (Santa Monica, CA)
Choir of Unity Church-Unitarian / Ruth Palmer (St. Paul, MN)
Festival Choir of First Presbyterian Church / Linda Kachelmeier (South St. Paul, MN)
Lumina Women's Ensemble (St. Paul, MN)
Women's Ensemble of Unity Church-Unitarian / Ruth Palmer (St. Paul, MN)

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