A Special Masterworks Worship Service
Lux AeternaSunday, March 1, 2015
The Choir of Westminster
Garrett Martin, Director
The Chamber Choir of Eastern Michigan University
Dr. Brandon Johnson, Director
Musicians of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Free and open to the public
Morten Lauridsen on his masterwork, Lux Aeterna, writes,
"Lux Aeterna--Eternal Light--is an intimate work of quiet serenity centered around a universal symbol of hope, reassurance, goodness and illumination at all levels. This work formed in my mind over several years, and I began serious work on the piece in 1993. I put aside the Lux Aeterna in early 1994 to compose the Christmas canticle, O Magnum Mysterium. The serenity and the uncomplicated and lyric style of O Magnum Mysterium are continued in Lux Aeterna, which is fashioned on texts from several different Latin sources, including the requiem mass, each containing a reference to Light.
Paul Salamunovich, conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale for whom I composed this cycle, considers Lux Aeterna to be one long chant. That did not happen by accident--I was writing for one of the world's foremost experts not only on Gregorian chant but of Renaissance music in general--and while I do not incorporate an overt reference to the single line chant anywhere in the piece, the conjunct and flowing melodic lines contributing to the works' overall lyricism and the chant-like phrase structures creating a seamlessness throughout certainly have their underpinnings in the chant literature. Renaissance procedures abound throughout Lux Aeterna."
Lux aeterna was greeted by The Times after its London premiere thus: 'a classic of new American choral writing ... in this light-filled continuum of sacred texts, old world structures and new world spirit intertwine in a cunningly written score, at once sensuous and spare'. Were a comparison to be sought, it would perhaps with Fauré's Requiem, but this new work surely stands as unique.
A complete schedule of Westminster Presents events is available here.