When David Heard

for SATB divisi a cappella
Music by: Kai Leung
Text: 2 Samuel 18:33
Semi-Finalist FYFE Choral Composition Prize (Sewanee Church Music Conference)

When David Heard conveys the raw power of grief, illuminating the devastation of King David
upon learning of his son’s death in the Book of Samuel.

When David heard that Absalom was slain he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept
And thus he said;
O my son, Absalom.
Would God I had died for thee!


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MSC0005 – When David Heard – SCORE PERUSAL PDF


This setting of When David Heard is inspired by the raw power of grief conveyed through this simple yet evocative text. The piece uses various vocal textures and effects to communicate the various stages and emotions felt while grieving, from unison lines, to canonic imitation, to lush choral harmonies. The final extended phrase is intended to evoke images of David standing alone in his tower, screaming accusingly with a heavy voice upwards towards heaven.