Alma Redemptoris Mater
for SATB choir(2014)
|Commission||Commissioned by Merton College, Oxford in celebration of the College’s 750th anniversary|
|Premiere||July 8, 2014; Gloucester Cathedral, part of Cheltenham Festival; Choir of Merton College, Oxford • Benjamin Nicholas, conductor|
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti.
Surgere qui curat ,populo. Tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
“Like the resonance left after the ringing of large bells, the opening triad becomes the background in this antiphon. The triad lingers, then other triads are juxtaposed in dissonance, only for the initial sound to prevail. On the background of this triad haze, an original Alma Redemptoris Mater Gregorian chant emerges. The work is the transition between this initial state and a re-imagined chant, which gradually takes over at the end of the piece, as if mirroring the opening.
This Marion Antiphon was commissioned by Merton College, Oxford to form part of the Merton Choirbook which celebrates the College’s 750th anniversary.