They that wait upon the Lord, 1903. Arthur B. Whiting, 1861-1936. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M2072.W
Arthur Whiting composed the anthem They that Wait upon the Lord after he moved from Boston to New York in 1895. Published in 1903 by G. Schirmer, this anthem demonstrates Whiting's preference for composing in traditional musical forms. The work is typical of his New York period compositions, which tended toward large-scale, highly developed compositions. It would have been appropriate for large festival worship services in the Protestant churches of the day.
Whiting sets this text from Isaiah (40:28-31) as an accompanied verse anthem, a form that alternates between solo and chorus to provide textural variety. In this case the musical contrast is suited to the dichotomy represented in the text. For example, he sets the narrative, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" as a lyric baritone solo. On the other hand, the declamatory "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard. . .?" features the full choir in thick block chords. The baritone solo reintroduces the opening, "But they that wait upon the Lord." For the climax, the full chorus enters in a unison ff, "They shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary." An accelerando then begins at "They shall walk and not faint" building to the final largo "amen."