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Suite Remembrance: Mourning into Dancing (2018)

for double SATB choir | 00:01:30

by Melissa Dunphy

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Commissioned by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus (Philip Barnes, Artistic Director).

Suite Remembrance is a set of four contrasting “memorial dances” for unaccompanied mixed chorus. Movements range from energetic to lyrical and moving, and each takes after a dance form. This final movement sets text from Psalm 30 (KJV) to a sprightly Gigue. This movement differs from the other three in that it is written for double SATB chorus. But the textures are light and dance-like, perhaps not requiring huge forces.

[Dunphy's] set of four short pieces entitled Remembrance explores the relationship between dance and song. The first two settings are contrasting pieces in lively dance rhythms. There follows a haunting setting of Emily Dickinson’s ‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’. This slow and expressive piece takes the suite off in a different direction. For the final piece, Melissa Dunphy’s choice of words from Psalm 30 (‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing’) is adroit; the words bridge nicely from the introspection of Dickinson back to extrovert dancing for the last movement of this attractive Suite. [MusicWeb International]

IV. Mourning into Dancing
Adapted from Psalm 30

Sing unto the Lord!
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing:
thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
I cried unto thee, and thou has healed me.
O Lord, I will give thanks unto thee forever.


  • 07 Jan, 2024: National Lutheran Choir at Normandale Lutheran Church, Edina, MN
  • 13 Feb, 2022: BBC Singers at Barbican Center, London, UK