Even if I did not teach a course on the Bible and music, even if I did not have a growing research as well as teaching interest in the intersection of religion and music, I would probably have shared this work with you. I discovered Ståle Kleiberg’s music through the Naxos Music Library, I believe. I’ve been listening constantly to his music since that happened, and when I saw that he has a treatment of the story of David and Bathsheba in an oratorio-opera he composed, I was thrilled at the possibility of working his music into things I teach and write. You can listen to David and Bathsheba on YouTube as well through the playlist that has been made available there:
The booklet that accompanies the Blu-Ray recording of the work is also available online and has more information.
He has also composed other works that have biblical connections. His Hymn to Love is a setting of 1 Corinthians 13, and his Requiem for the Victims of Nazi Persecution includes Psalm 13. He has also set the Magnificat as well as The Shepherds and the Angels.
You can listen to more music by Ståle Kleiberg through his website as well as on YouTube.Of related interest, Kirmo Lintinen’s piece “David and Bathsheba” with libretto by Vali-Pekka Hänninen offers a fascinating imagined conversation between David and Bathsheba after Uriah’s death (sorry that I didn’t find a recording to share here). Also have a listen to the movement “David and Bathsheba” that is part of John Duffy’s “Heritage Suite for Orchestra.”
I also want to highlight the piece from the Episcopal Cafe about musical settings of Psalm 47 and the place of music in the faith of some of us. See too the piece focusing on fathers’ influences from the Milken Archive (I’ll have more from them soon). Finally, let me also share a link to Bob MacDonald’s update about his oratorio, Leviathan Unleashed.