Modern Tenebrae : "Et Lux In Tenebris", by Koerber
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    I am going to compose a stark (thin textured) "Tenebrae" for Holy Week this year. I am wide open to suggestions. Of course, it will be in Latin. As I have researched Tenebrae over the past few years, it is difficult to decide what to include (textually), when to perform it and what instrumentation to employ. I have some ideas, but want your input. Thoughts?
  • I'll be the first to suggest SATB a cappella. Textually, I feel your pain when searching for what should be used in a modern service. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Andrew

    I have just reviewed all 18 responsories, and Lamentations. Do you know where I might find a good English translation that is accurate to the meaning, and not so much poetic as I will use the Latin for composition?

    Technically, the organ is supposed to be retired for Tenebrae, so I agree with your sentiment, but I was thinking I might employ some austere instrumentation such as alto flute, viola and cello, and possibly bass clarinet, but these are just thoughts at this point.

    It would also be interesting to use a separate ensemble of vocalists as instruments. Oooh's, Ahhh's, Closed lipped hums with jaw open. (a very effective effect)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,563
    With the paucity of singers so prevalent these days, I would probably opt for a 3-part texture (SABar, most likely). If at all possible, I'd opt for a cappella.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    CHG... that would certainly be stark.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    OK... just listened to Stravinsky's Lamentations (Threni). What a disaster. Could not bring myself to sit through a single listening... too unbearable.

    Tis a shame he was so 'lost' the first half of his life... I think he reclaimed his faith later on from what I read, but those first thirty years released some spiritually very dark music.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    String quartet, vocal soloists and chamber choir?
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Francis, you mention bass clarinet: contemporary composer Peter Togni has a choral setting of the Lamentations that employs the bass clarinet very effectively. Here is an excerpt:

    http://youtu.be/R4tUJ40NMOE
  • No instrumentation for liturgical use. I'm with Giffen on the scoring a3. I might opt for more men or all men, given that EF scholae seem to be better stocked with men than OF scholae. The hardest part would be to keep it simple to perform, but interesting and effective; you only do it once a year, in a week where rehearsal time is at a premium. I set all 9 responses (at cpdl), and they're a liturgical white elephant (indeed, I haven't had concert performances of every one)...forces too big (up to 8 parts), language too complex. As for "what to include", I'd do either the Lamentations or the responses, but not both, for reasons of time and effort. (I haven't set the Lamentations yet; I'm suspecting that before I leave this earth, there will be a solitary city to lament.)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Robert

    Interesting piece... thought I was listening to Arvo at first. Who stole that style from who?

    Jeffrey

    More for a concert, so not sure instrumentation would actually apply. I will look up your settings. I think you can lament just about every city on the face of the earth. If you want to write a motet to call down fire, try Las Vegas. God might give pause to your lament.

    I am thinking more along the lines of what Ian suggests, but live in such a small town, would be very difficult to muster the forces.

    What do you all think about turning the organ on for a concert during the Triduum... would I burn in hell?
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    I long to hear this at Tenebrae some day ... instruments, yet stark and achingly beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5SX0bL6Bik
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Paul:

    Wow! That was a revelation. I think I would like to do a modern basso continuo with a few voices and keep it at that. My (ahem...) DIGITAL ORGAN SIMULATOR (pun intended for MJO) has a wonderful baroque palette. I might even throw in a viola along with the cello.
  • Oh, well, if it's for a CONCERT... men's voices (mostly unison, some parts), 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas. And no, I'm not about to write Lamentations with a city in mind unless that city is first destroyed. That's a bit too much like the ancient and long-forbidden custom of having a Requiem said for somebody you'd LIKE to be dead, in hopes that they would take the hint.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Good Jeffrey... thank you for your sarcasm.

    Here are the words of Jesus I just ran across in the Gospel of John this morning which was an exhortation to the man whom he healed and commanded to take up his bed and walk...

    "Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee."

    Do you think we could just rent a plane to fly over Las Vegas with one of those big banners on the back? (It should be in Latin though)
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Shrug...I don't think Lost Wages is per capita any more sinful than anyplace else; they just sin more boldly. Besides, they've been punished enough by the housing bust. And the tuba quartet idea was not sarcasm...it's a lovely dark sound.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Here is the 1st draft of the textual content.

    PDF file here (easier to figure out the actual sung text)
    http://www.romancatholicsacredmusic.com/etLuxInTenebris.pdf

    Et Lux In Tenebris

    Libretto and Music composed by Francis Koerber (compiled from the Latin Vulgate of John)

    Prologo
    Deus lux est et tenebrae in eo non sunt ullae. Et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt.

    I. Iesus Iudaeis

    Solvite templum hoc et in tribus diebus excitabo illud.

    Hoc est autem iudicium quia lux venit in mundum et dilexerunt homines magis tenebras quam lucem erant enim eorum mala opera.

    Omnis enim qui mala agit odit lucem et non venit ad lucem ut non arguantur opera eius.

    Qui autem facit veritatem venit ad lucem ut manifestentur eius opera quia in Deo sunt facta.

    Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem in me manet et ego in illo.

    II. Iesus ad eius Discipuli

    Numquid et vos vultis abire?

    Nonne ego vos duodecim elegi et ex vobis unus diabolus est.

    Non potest mundus odisse vos me autem odit quia ego testimonium perhibeo de illo quia opera eius mala sunt.

    III. Iesus Iudaeis

    Quid me quaeritis?

    Unum opus feci et omnes miramini.

    Ego sum lux mundi qui sequitur me non ambulabit in tenebris sed habebit lucem vitae.

    IV. Iesus caeco et Pharisaei

    In iudicium ego in hunc mundum veni ut qui non vident videant et qui vident caeci fiant.

    V. Iesus ad eius Discipuli

    Nonne duodecim horae sunt diei si quis ambulaverit in die non offendit quia lucem huius mundi videt si autem ambulaverit nocte offendit quia lux non est in eo.

    VI. Unctionem Jesus cum nardus

    Sine illam ut in die sepulturae meae servet illud.


    VII. Iesus ad eius Discipuli

    Nunc anima mea turbata est et quid dicam Pater salvifica me ex hora hac sed propterea veni in horam hanc.

    VIII. Iesus ad Multitudo

    Nunc iudicium est mundi nunc princeps huius mundi eicietur foras.

    Adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est. Ambulate dum lucem habetis ut non tenebrae. Vos conprehendant et qui ambulat in tenebris nescit quo vadat.

    Dum lucem habetis credite in lucem ut filii lucis sitis.


    IX. Iesus ad eius Discipuli in ultima Cena

    Non de omnibus vobis dico ego scio quos elegerim sed ut impleatur scriptura qui manducat mecum panem levavit contra me calcaneum suum.

    Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet ut animam suam quis ponat pro amicis suis.

    Si mundus vos odit scitote quia me priorem vobis odio habuit.

    Amen, amen, dico vobis quia plorabitis et flebitis vos mundus autem gaudebit vos autem contristabimini sed tristitia vestra vertetur in gaudium. John 16:20

    XI. Iesus orat in horto Gethsemani

    XII. Dialogo I
    (Jesus Quaestiones Servus Maximum sacerdos)

    Quem quaeritis?

    (respondit servus)

    Iesum Nazarenum

    (Iesus respondet)

    Ego sum.

    XIII. Lapsum de homines
    (milites Judaeorum pontifex ceciderit)

    IVX. Dialogo II
    (Jesus Quaestiones Servus Maximum sacerdos)

    Quem quaeritis?

    (respondit servus)

    Iesum Nazarenum

    (Iesus respondet)

    Dixi vobis quia ego sum.

    XV. The Condemnation

    (Iesus ad Pilatus)

    Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam nisi tibi esset datum desuper propterea qui tradidit me tibi maius peccatum habet.

    XVI. Crucifixionis

    Iesu Nazarenus rex Iudaeorum

    Iesus de Cruce

    Mulier ecce filius tuus. Ecce mater tua.

    Sitio

    Consummatum est

    Epilogo
    Latus Christi apertum

    Ita apparuit in signum foederis inter Deum et finale et perfectum hominem in commixtione sanguis et aqua.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    In English

    The Light Shines in the Darkness

    Prologue
    God is light and in him there is no darkness. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    I. Jesus Speaks to the Jews

    Destroy this temple; and in three days I will raise it up.

    And this is the judgment: Because the light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.

    For every one that doth evil hateth the light and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.

    But he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest: because they are done in God.

    He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.

    II. Jesus Speaks to His Disciples

    Will you also go away?

    Have not I chosen you twelve? And one of you is a devil.

    The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth, because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil.

    III. Jesus Speaks to the Jews

    Why seek you to kill me?

    One work I have done: and you all wonder.

    I am the light of the world. He that followeth me walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

    IV. Jesus speaks to a Blind Man and the Pharisees

    For judgment I am come into this world: that they who see not may see; and they who see may become blind.

    V. Jesus speaks to His Disciples

    Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walk in the day he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: But if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him.

    VI. The Annointing of Jesus with Spikenard

    Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial.

    VII. Jesus Speaks to his Disciples

    Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour.

    VIII. Jesus Speaks to the Multitude

    Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

    Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, and the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

    Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.

    IX. Jesus Speaks to His Disciples During the Last Supper

    I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth bread with me shall lift up his heel against me.

    Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you.

    Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

    XI. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane

    XII. Dialogue I
    (Jesus Questions Servant of the High Priest)

    Whom seek ye?

    (The Servant of the High Priest Gives Answer)

    Jesus of Nazareth

    (Jesus Answers)

    I am he.

    XIII. The Fall of Mankind
    (Soldiers of the Jewish High Priest fall to the ground)

    IVX. Dialogue II
    (Jesus Questions Servant of the High Priest)

    Whom seek ye?

    (The Servant of the High Priest Gives Answer)

    Jesus of Nazareth

    (Jesus Answers)

    I have told you that I am he.

    XV. The Condemnation

    (Jesus Speaks to Pilate)

    Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.

    XVI. The Crucifixion

    Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews

    Jesus Speaks from the Cross

    Woman, behold thy son. Behold thy mother.

    I thirst.

    It is consummated.

    Epilogue
    The Opening of the Side of Christ

    Thus was manifested the final and perfect sign of the covenant between God and Man, the Blood and Water.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Here is an explanation of the Epilogue, by St. John Crysostom

    If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. “Sacrifice a lamb without blemish”, commanded Moses, “and sprinkle its blood on your doors”. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.

    If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the holy eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own. So also with the lamb: the Jews sacrificed the victim and I have been saved by it.

    “There flowed from his side water and blood”. Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolized baptism and the holy eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit”, and from the holy eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.

    Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomboysuze
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    OK

    Revised...

    http://www.romancatholicsacredmusic.com/etLuxInTenebrisRev1.pdf

    main difference is that the theological 'fall' of the soldiers represents the fall of the reprobate and not an allusion to the fall of all mankind. This is drawn out in the writings of Augustine, Chrysostom, and others.

    AUG. As soon then as He said To them, I am He, they went backward. Where now is the band of soldiers, where the terror and defence of arms? Without a blow, one word struck, drove back, prostrated a crowd fierce with hatred, terrible with arms. For God was hid in the flesh, and the eternal day was so obscured by His human body, that He was sought for with lanterns and torches, to be slain in the darkness. What shall He do when He comes to judge, Who did thus when He was going to be judged? And now even at the present time Christ says by the Gospel, I am He, and an Antichrist is expected by the Jews: to the end that they may go backward, and fall to the ground; because that forsaking heavenly, they desire earthly things. GREG. Why is this, that the Elect fall on their faces, the reprobate backward? Because every one who falls back, sees not where he falls, whereas he who falls forward, sees where he falls. The wicked when they suffer loss in invisible things, are said to fall backward, because they do not see what is behind them: but the righteous, who of their own accord cast themselves down in temporal things, in order that they may rise in spiritual, fall as it were upon their faces, when with fear and repentance they humble themselves with their eyes open. CHRYS. Lastly, lest any should say that He had encouraged the Jews to kill Him, in delivering Himself into their hands, He says every thing that is possible to reclaim them. But when they persisted in their malice, and showed themselves inexcusable then He gave Himself up into their hands: Then asked He them again, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Started composing today. Here is as far as I got on the first movement today. Gives you a flavor

    1st Movement: Prologue: Deus Lux

    http://www.romancatholicsacredmusic.com/seehear/deusLux.mp3

    http://www.romancatholicsacredmusic.com/seehear/deusLux.pdf
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Et Lux In Tenebris
    by Francis Koerber

    World Premiere Performance
    conducted from the organ by the composer

    Friday, April 6, 3pm
    Our Lady of the Mountains
    Jackson, Wyoming 83001
    Thanked by 1fernandogil
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    OK... we are ramping up for premiere... here's the handbill

    1048 x 1275 - 277K
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,563
    Good luck with the premiere. I'm sure it will be a blessing to anyone who attends or takes part in it. Any chance of a score and/or recording?
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Good luck, Francis.
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    This thread - in itself - is a rich contemplation for lent, especially if read while listening to the Couperin Tenebres above. Deo Gratias.
    I so wish I could hear this on Good Friday. The handbill is full of meloncholy - just lovely, and so representative of that intersection of beauty and sorrow that is Christ's Passion.
    I know it will be beautiful. All the best, Francis.
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    Just listened to a sampling of the files above....the opening movement is sublime...the immediate establishment of the tempo in stepwise motion is lovely and perfectly foreboding. The initial tension of the work drew me in within the first three measures. I very much look forward to hearing the fruit of your evident labor, Francis.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Thanks for your encouraging words.

    We had our first comprehensive rehearsal with strings last night, and we have a good ways to go in two and half weeks before this piece materializes.

    Here is what I wrote to the ensemble in recap this morning.


    Dear Et Lux Ensemble:

    Congratulations on getting thrown into the deep waters of last nights rehearsal and not drowning. I purposely brought the strings and organ in early (relatively speaking to our overall progress) and put you in your actual performing space so you could get your 'musical sea legs' on this one. Allow me just a couple of minutes to elaborate.

    Vocalists, I know you are still not over the initial hill of "getting the notes" inside of you, and I am not the least bit surprised, although I was a bit eager for you to have progressed further than where we have arrived up to this point in time. But this is a tall order. Don't be discouraged or alarmed.

    My particular style of composing these choral/orchestral polyphonic textures, (and a great deal of my compositional output over the course of my career) puts great demands on the vocalists, and in particular, the gyroscope of their harmonic balance -- independent of instrumental support. As one of my vocalists reminded me last night, 'you give us no cues'. The truth is, the cues are all there in the harmonic structure itself, but I am not allowing you the extravagance of a (doubling) instrument as a crutch to help you walk. You, my dear singers, will have to walk on your own! Yes, it is a challenge, but well worth it in the final performance. It does require a certain resolute and discipline to learning the score on your own, I will admit. But the most beautiful choral essence of your voices must and will arrive in its own space to shine in the beauty of its own nakedness, unclothed in the timbres of strings or pipes.

    I must at this point laud and thank Mr. Viola, who has spent decades of hours learning this work, as he (and his vocal teacher with whom he has rehearsed over the last month) realized the nature and difficulty of it from the get go. Some others of you have had the opportunity of more time to do so, some haven't. It is all the more a challenge in your situations. Thank you for trying your best!

    This music is nothing like most other choral works in that it requires you to sing your part "a cappella" while at the same time finding yourself enveloped within a sphere of orchestral sound, which in itself, offers its own unique beauty through its entirely independent musical thoughts and ideas. The marriage of the two bodies of musicians (choralists and instrumentalists) results in something incredible to me, and I hope, to all who hear this music.

    As a composer, in particular a composer of sacred music in the Roman Catholic tradition, I raise the importance of the choral element to a level that is not only equal in strength to the instrumental element, but rides above it like a skilled surfer on a great wave. Even the best often go under. The feat of this music is in watching (hearing) the two bodies collaborate and coexist in that moment when the wave (instrumental body) is most powerful and the surfer (vocal body) successfully rides it in to the shore. Each in themself contain an indespensable element that when the wave emerges from the sea and surfer is fit and willing to take the dare, the aural spectacle becomes an incredible experience for both the athelete and the observer. A third entity emerges, one that is entirely spiritual, invisible and ethereal and obviously detectable, but only in the artful and skillful dance of the music.

    Choralists and instrumentalists rarely if ever, share the common force of melodic form (at least not at the same time) in this work; instrument and voice do not double any particular melodic line. You each have your own melody and rhythm in each and every part, purposely at odds (or more positively expressed, in contrast) with each other in these regards, so that where the surf board touches the water, a miraculous exhibition of the independent harmonic sphere becomes refulgent. (In this work, the term 'refulgent' is particularly apropos, as it means 'filled with light'.)

    In my compositions, vocalists are not an addendum to the instrumental parts. And instruments are not just there to support the vocal line. Everyone is on their own, and at the same time, much more dependent upon the other. If this can help your thinking, it is almost like a weave of solos, all happening at once, giving and taking, cautiously stepping and progressing, like some kind of grand dance.

    As vocalists, you have an extra responsibility, to carry and deliver the power of the message, most pointedly, the words. I will recount what I hear often from some, from those in our congregation here, and in various forums where musicians lurk. "Why not English?" There are numerous reasons to that question. For one, in the Latin, the words simply become timeless and universal, rising above geographic, cultural and novel influence and political correctness. Secondly, the structure of Latin allows for the easy reversal of subject and verb, for dividing meanings into simple short phrases, and it is a speaking-friendly language. It simply sounds beautiful in music. English, in my opinion as a professional vocal composer, is heavy, cumbersome and of course, guttural. I have composed a lot of music in English. It's not pretty for choral music. Thirdly, look at the reams of choral music from other great composers. Even Bach, a staunch Lutheran, whose music was mostly in his native tongue (and guttural), thought to announce one of his greatest works in Latin, his B Minor Mass. This makes it all the more challenging for the vocalists. Thanks for your extra effort!

    So this is why I send you (vocalists) CD discs, require and offer myself to you for extra rehearsals, and even one-on-one sessions. I know the demand I have placed on you. I am asking that you "know" the music to your core.

    Thank you for your time and effort. The little I can offer in financial remuneration will never repay you for the time you have taken to learn this piece, and for what you will unfold on Good Friday April 6 in the unveiling of Et Lux In Tenebris to the world. I hope and pray you also share in the wealth of that experience and that it will be with you and change you forever.

    Most Sincerely Yours in JMJ,

    Francis Koerber
    Composer, Organist and Choirmaster
    (and father of Et Lux In Tenebris)

    ph: 307-200-6037
    francis@RomanCatholicSacredMusic.com
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Newspaper ads going in for the week here in town:

    (links removed)
  • Felicity
    Posts: 77
    Very impressive!

    May God grant you great success!
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Good luck, Francis. I truly wish I could be there. Are you planning on recording it?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,563
    I, too, would love to be there for such a significant occasion – for the music, as well as the chance to meet a person whose music I admire and whose devotion to the faith is an inspiration.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    thnx all. I will definitely be recording this and releasing as a cd. pray for a good performance... it's TUFF music and world premieres are always dangerous. :}
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    i am pleased to report that the world premiere was a great success. will post a link to recordings, programme and more soon.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    10th movement - world premiere performance - Good Friday, April 6, 3pm

    X. Majorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat qui pro amicis suis.

    X. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    (links removed)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    12th movement - world premiere performance - Good Friday, April 6, 3pm

    XII. O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte: Si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus. Attendite, universi populi, et videte dolorem meum.

    XII. O all you who walk by on the road, pay attention and see: if there be any sorrow like my sorrow. Pay attention, all people, and look at my sorrow.

    (links removed)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    13th movement - world premiere performance - Good Friday, April 6, 3pm

    L. Finalia Verba Iesus In Cruce
    XIII. Mulier, ecce filius tuus. Ecce mater tua.
    Sitio
    Consummatum est.

    L. Jesus Speaks His Final Words Fom The Cross (bar. solo)
    XIII. Woman, behold thy son. Behold thy mother.
    I thirst.
    It is consummated.

    (links removed)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Programme

    (links removed)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Lobby Sign

    (links removed)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    Ok... this work is ten years old since the premiere and I am orchestrating it since it was orignally performed with organ and chorus.

    I am posting this as a meditation for everyone for Holy Week, if you have the time to listen. I will post the files as I re orchestrate each.

    The original score was supposed to include a glass harp, but that was impossible to pull into the locale, so I ended up using harmonics on a viola... this time I am including the theramin (which could also be performed by a very good violinist with minimal (or very subtle) vibrato, which is symbolic for 'light'.

    NOTE: I never reported back or posted a recording of the premiere as it was unacceptable as a representation of the score, and had too many faults to bring to the public. (I still have it (i think) on one of my hard drives somewhere.

    I. Deus Lux

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/deusLux.mp4

    I. Deus Lux - The prologue sets the stage by plainly stating that it is the light of Christ that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. Lux. Light. Tenebris. Darkness, and shadows. These are the themes that create the foreboding harmonic textures, and in the opening phrases, the theramin introduces the shimmer of light through the use of its unusual tonality that occur mostly upon the word ‘Lux’.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    II. Solvite Templum Hoc - Utilizing the leitmotiv of a descending scale representing "Destroy this temple" (Solvite templum hoc) contrasted against a continually rising modulatory harmonic chordal progression in ostinato form. The theramin appears out of the darkness and climbs to a soaring resolve along with the ascending lines of the choir elucidating the words, “In three days I will raise it up” (et in tribus, diebus excitabo illud).

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/solvite.mp4

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    IV. Numquid et Vos - The fourth movement opens with Jesus asking His disciples, “Are you also going to leave me?” The voice of a single disciple responds, “Lord, to whom can we go”? This gives confidence to other disciples to echo the same sentiment (in imitative voices), but Jesus continues to sing in dejection (in monotone and staggered phrases) “Will you... also... leave me?”, which is contrasted by the confidence of His disciples in united voice. “Lord... you speak... life...” Then while the disciples continue saying, “To whom can we go?”, Jesus breaks into a more hopeful mood (key changes to relative major) “Have I not chosen you twelve?” But then the unbearable thought enters into the mind of Christ and He proclaims, “and one of you is a devil.” At this point the darkness of Christs' words envelopes them all. It is too much for the disciples to bear, and now they repeat the same words back to Jesus that he had originally spoken to them, “Are you also going to leave?” (returning the relative minor key) as they all sink into the depressing finale, saying together and thinking of each other, that same sad thought.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/numquid.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    V. Quid Me Quaeritis?-A whimsical reflection on the folly of human thinking as Jesus proposes to the Jews that He cannot figure out why they want to kill Him. He is perplexed concerning their response to his miraculous and wonderful work. He spells it out plain and clear, but to no avail.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/quid.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    VII. Nunc Anima Mea Turbata Est - Jesus comes to realize that He must confront the darkness and walk through it to arrive at the light of His resurrection. The choir repeats his resolve.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/nuncAnima.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    VIII. Nunc Judicium Est Mundi - Here is the anger of God against the prince of darkness whom He is about to cast out of the world. It is contrasted with two sections exhorting humanity to walk in the light while we still have the light lest the darkness overcome us.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/nuncJudicium.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    IX. Non De Omnibus Vobis Dico - Short plainchant solo, Jesus proclaims that it is His closest friends who actually betray Him. It is perhaps the most grave of human pain, when we betray those closest to us.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/nonDe.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    X. Majorem Hac Dilectionem Nemo Habet - A simple homophonic treatment which stands in juxtaposition in the entire work. The words are simple, the challenge is not.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/majorem.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    XI. In Horto, In Tenebris is textually, the central piece of the passion drama acted out in the voices and programatic music. However, it is compressed into a mere five minutes of time beginning with Jesus’ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and reaching its final chord at Jesus being errected on the cross (Nazarenus Rex Iudorum), the text that Pilate had inscribed on wood to attach to the vertical beam above Jesus’ head during his crucifixion. This single movement of music wanders through various key changes, tempi and dramatic moods found in the confrontation of the soldiers of the high priest, the imprisonment and trial before Pilate and Jesus’ revelation of a kingdom not of this world, the mocking crowd, and finally the recapitulation of the opening theme as He is crucified on the the hill known as the Skull or Golgotha.

    An interesting aspect of this movement is captured in the ‘fall of the reprobate’, which is not a widely known truth but discussed by many Saints in their writings. This occurs when Jesus says, “I am he”, and the entire army of soldiers fall backward to the ground. The music 'falls' and then rises.

    "As soon then as He said To them, I am He, they went backward. Where now is the band of soldiers, where the terror and defence of arms? Without a blow, one word struck, drove back, prostrated a crowd fierce with hatred, terrible with arms. For God was hid in the flesh, and the eternal day was so obscured by His human body, that He was sought for with lanterns and torches, to be slain in the darkness. What shall He do when He comes to judge, Who did thus when He was going to be judged? And now even at the present time Christ says by the Gospel, I am He, and an Antichrist is expected by the Jews: to the end that they may go backward, and fall to the ground; because that forsaking heavenly, they desire earthly things.” St Augustine



    I. Dialogue III: In the Garden, In the Darkness
    (Jesus Questions Servant of the High Priest)
    XI. Jesus: Whom seek ye?
    (The Servant of the High Priest Gives Answer)
    Jesus of Nazareth
    (Jesus Answers)
    I am he.
    The Fall of the Reprobate Backwards
    (Jesus Questions Servant of the High Priest)
    Whom seek ye?
    (The Servant of the High Priest responds)
    Jesus of Nazareth
    (Jesus Answers)
    I have told you that I am he.
    J. The Condemnation
    (Jesus Speaks to Pilate)
    Pilate: Are you the King of the Jews?
    Jesus: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.
    K. The Crucifixion (choir)
    Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/inHortoInTenebris.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    XII. O Vos Omnes - One of the most famous texts found in Lamentations 1:12, and exists in a shorter form, as an antiphon, and a longer form, as a responsory (the fifth of the nine responsories for Matins of Holy Saturday) in the Roman Catholic rite.

    This movement suspends the progress of the conflict between light and darkness, and gives us a moment to reflect upon that most holy and central icon of the faith, the crucified Christ. There are dozens of settings of this famous text, some of the better known by Gesualdo and Victoria. This musical setting takes its inspiration from the Crucifixus as found in Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

    XII. O all you who walk by on the road, pay attention and see: if there be any sorrow like my sorrow. Pay attention, all people, and look at my sorrow.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/oVosOmnes.mp4
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,170
    XIII. Iesus Eius Finalis Verbum - The drama continues, and Jesus is caught between time and eternity as he pronounces three of His seven last words from the cross. All of heaven surrounds the scene, and the ethereal voices and lush harmonies create a wash of sound without a defined tempo. In it one experiences a tension, from the perspective of Jesus hanging in the balance between life and death, light and darkness, wandering in and out of consciousness until in His last breath; we hear the faint shadows of the hymn the Church has sung throughout the centuries when His adorers repose the body of Christ into the tabernacle at the conclusion of the adoration rite, Tantum Ergo.

    XIII. Woman, behold thy son. Behold thy mother.
    I thirst.
    It is consummated.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/13IEFV.mp4