Luke 2:25-32 (KJV)
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
I am greatly impressed with the story of Simeon. We do not know much about him, except that he was a good enough man to promptly heed the impressions of the Spirit. He strikes me as an uncommon, common man. In composing this three-movement work, I decided to keep the instrumentation as simple as the story. This is why the texture is so thin throughout. While the Soprano acts as the expositor, the violin generates the images and emotions of Simeon’s interaction with the spirit and the Christ child.