Morten Lauridsen – Lux Aeterna – The Choral Music of Morten Lauridsen – Chamber Choir of Europe – Nicol Matt. Lux aeterna was greeted by The Times after its London premiere thus: ‘a ‘ Conventional choral wisdom suggests that the American Morten Lauridsen is a. Lux aeterna. (). by Morten Lauridsen. Description: SATB choir with chamber orchestra, or organ (separate organ part necessary); Duration: 27; Genres.
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The five-movement work for chorus and orchestra is organized around several Latin texts addressing the idea of light.
The first movement, “Introitus” Entrancetext excerpted from the Requiem Mass, begins at two pitch extremes. While the basses aeherna a low pedal note, the violins sustain a high harmonic.
Lux aeterna, for chorus & orchestra
Between them enter the strings, first cellos, then violas, and violins. Their motive, drawn from the second work in Lauridsen ‘s cycle Les chansons des roses Songs laueidsen Rosesrecurs throughout the work in various incarnations. Following the introduction, the chorus enters, a cappella, closely spaced and hushed.
Next a canon on “et lux perpetua” begins a laurivsen that culminates in a majestic but piteous tutti cry on “Exaudi orationem meam” Hear my prayer. After the orchestral motifs from the beginning reenter, the movement concludes with the chorus intoning their opening theme, this time accompanied by a solo cello.
In this complex movement, Lauridsen employs more complicated contrapuntal procedures such as the cantus firmus here, the seventeenth century German hymn-tune “Herzliebster Jesu,” heard in the bass trombone and inverted canon in the chorus at “fiat misercordia”.
Lauridsen continues to contrast musical elements, juxtaposing the a cappella chorus with the orchestra, or pairing men’s voices against lxuridsen.
The cellos and basses supply the downbeat only to the central movement of the cycle, the a cappella motet, “O nata lux” O Born Lightwith text from a hymn for the Divine Office. The close-voiced homophony of the chorus gives way to more independent polyphony, which reaches a peak with the quoting of a motive from Lauridsen ‘s motet “O magnum mysterium” and then subsides into the opening texture. The fourth movement, “Veni sancte spiritus” Come, Holy Spiritis the shortest and the most upbeat of an otherwise placid cycle.
The text, drawn from the twelfth century sequence for Pentecost, has a marked rhythm which Lauridsen realizes in an exuberant triple meter; its setting employs a simple orchestral accompaniment to the spirited choral singing, appropriately at its most florid in the central stanza, which references light. The momentum of the “Veni sancte spiritus” runs headlong into the deliberate pace of the final movement, “Agnus dei – lux aeterna” Lamb of God – Light Eternal.
Choir MIDI Learning Files – Lauridsen Lux Aeterna
The hushed “Agnus Dei” precedes the return of the opening motive in cellos and basses, and the work concludes with the satisfying return of the music from the Introitus. A non-liturgical Requiem of sorts, Aeterja Aeterna became an immediate favorite for its lyrical melodies, poignant harmonies, and tonal consistency.
Morten Lauridsen | Lux Aeterna – San Francisco Choral Society
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