Hail to the Lord's Anointed: A call to embrace the kingdom hope
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Hail to the Lord's Anointed is a cantata for soprano, tenor, and baritone soloists, two narrators, mixed chorus, and orchestra. The purpose of the work is to portray the person of the Messiah as He fulfills His role as the promised heir to King David's throne who will establish the kingdom of God and bring the world back under God's complete authority. The cantata consists of opening and closing calls to worship based on Psalm 95 ("O Come, Let Us Worship" and "O Come, Let Us Worship II") that enclose three large sections which tell the story of the kingdom of God: (1) "The Kingdom Promised," (2) "The Kingdom Inaugurated," and (3) "The Kingdom Consummated." "The Kingdom Promised" describes the nature and work of the promised Messiah as presented in the Old Testament. "The Kingdom Inaugurated" depicts the controversy surrounding Christ's ministry as He preached the coming of the kingdom of God, a controversy climaxing in the Crucifixion. The section closes with a celebration of the Resurrection and Ascension. "The Kingdom Consummated" portrays the return of Christ to judge the earth, and His glorious rule over a new heaven and a new earth. The music is written in functional harmony, but often employs altered subdominant, dominant, and subtonic chords. Two of the movements are written in a style suggestive of Christian contemporary music.