The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

So Much Radiance

A tender parable about the wisdom and resplendence of the world’s religions

Music: Elizabeth Alexander

Words: Elizabeth Alexander

A musical allegory about the glory of the world’s religions. As these rich traditions are revealed to us one by one the music grows ever more resplendant, culminating in a glorious feast of knowledge, wonder and radiance.

The central movement of Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith, So Much Radiance may also be performed as a stand-alone piece.

Instrumentation: SATB, piano OR SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet

Note: The Choral Score is designed to be used with chamber ensemble performances as well as those accompanied only by piano. For chamber ensemble performances, the conductor uses the Conductor’s Score of the complete work (SEA-123-00).

Details and Ordering Information

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Composer Notes

Composer Notes

The modest aspiration of So Much Radiance was to honor all of the major religions in the world. In under 5 minutes. Good grief, what was a composer to do!!?? Well, one thing I did was to use all the major chords of all twelve keys – sometimes two at a time!


So Much Radiance

Once we set forth in the dark empty hours of the night,
In search of a Presence wondrous and unseen,
Guided only by a voice still and small.

Our outstretched hands soon encountered
The brass and grain of Cross and Menorah,
And our fingers traced their contours with reverence and joy.

Only now, as the rising sun illuminates
Wheel and Lotus, Yin and Yang, Star and Crescent, Eagle and Drum,
We begin to behold the Limitless:
So much Radiance within our reach – even more beyond.

Elizabeth Alexander
© 2015 by Elizabeth Alexander



SATB, flute, horn, string quartet
Premiere: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston / Jason Oby (Houston, TX)
Choir of Arlington Street Church / Mark Buckles (Boston, MA)
Choir of Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church / Mark Tuning (Walnut Creek, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta / Donald Milton III (Atlanta, GA)
St Luke Presbyterian Church / David Lohman (St. Louis Park, MN)

SATB, piano
First Unitarian Univeralist Church of Rochester / Joe Mish (Rochester, MN)