A 2015 performance of Dream of the Rood by Opus 7 and The Compline Choir was the first in at least 30 years. Though included in Jason Anderson’s dissertation on Peter Hallock, music for the prerecorded sections was nowhere to be found. It was only after Anderson’s dissertation defense that Hallock provided an archival recording so that the work could be properly re-constructed. Hallock called works like this, in which sound is manipulated by incorporating prepared sound or special vocal effects, as musique concrète. Additional works in this category include Centennial Te Deum, Victimae Paschali (Setting I), and Phoenix. Dream of the Rood is the only setting of the Creed by Hallock. Perhaps rooted in uncertainty—or unbelief—Hallock used the tritone as the preferred interval for the word Credo (“I believe”). Compline Choir sang the pre-recorded material live from the organ loft.
Bass solo, then choir: Credo in unum Deum. Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
Bass solo: How mute creation, the all green earth, the heav’ns above, when savage men laid sinful hands on their creator.
Choir: Credo in unum Deum et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, et sepultus est.
Bass solo: The stars forsook their shining splendor, when the young warrior, God, the all wielder put off his raiment, and in the sight of many, mounted the cross to redeem mankind.
Choir: Credo in unum Deum et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis.
Bass solo: God ascended the tree, moist with the blood, tear drops, under the bark weeping. All creation wept, Christ was on the cross.
Choir: Credo in unum Deum et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum filium Dei unigenitum.
Bass solo: They grieved for him, (in the grip of fear) when our Lord went forth, spirit from body in the sight of his slayers, they made him a sepulcher carved from shining stone and therein they laid the lordly Prince. Death he suffered.
Choir: Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est. Et resurrexit.
Bass solo: Death he suffered but our Savior rose and the rood with radiant light shall illumine the wide creation.
Choir: Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Bass solo, then choir: He ascended to heaven and hither again he shall come, to seek mankind the Lord himself, with his Angel hosts. From the four regions of earth’s realm, from the uttermost corners of earth’s kingdom, all shining angels in unison sounding shall blow their trumpets loud. They shall resound, swelling clear to the course of the stars. They shall sing from north and south, they shall wake from death the songs of warriors and all mankind from the ancient earth. From their deep sleep they shall rise. From south and east, shall come the creator’s light like the sun, the wondrous presence of Christ. The sound of heaven’s trumpet shall strain at the uplifted standard the tow’ring cross, sign of the Ruler’s might.
Credo in unum Deum, et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, et resurrexit. In Spiritum Sanctum et vivificantem et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum et vitam venturi saeculi.
Bass solo: Our hope waits on the cross.
Choir: Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
Old English poem “The Dream of the Rood,” in the style of Cynewulf; tr. Charles W. Kennedy; also “Credo” from the Mass Ordinary