Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Luc,

Hope all's well. I've kept Morten Laurdsen's piece on my desktop since May, intending to share it with you, Janet, Marcia, Dani, Simone, et al, in the Dance Dept. At the time, Ed's sudden death and UWM remembrance event was surreal. The MSO concert that weekend featured Laurdsen's Lux Aeterna. Perhaps, some of you were there. The voices and music transported me into another state of being, and I found myself crying, crying with a mix of grief and joy for loved ones, a real tribute. For some, the contemporary yet Old Soul/Old World aesthetic of Lux Aeterna may seem unlike Ed, but for me, it was a direct hit. Hope it speaks to you all, too. Sending regards and peace,

The Carrs

P.S. For the archives? My son Adam loved working with Ed to produce the WinterDances/Water Studies clip for Radio 88Nine Make MKE:

P.P.S. Ed's Legacy Scholarship Fund/UWM Foundation is a brilliant "perpetual light" - thanks


Lux Aeterna, for Chorus and Chamber Orchestra

MORTEN LAURIDSEN (b. February 27, 1943; Colfax, Washington)

This conjoined five-movement work is dedicated to and first performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and its leader, Paul Salamunovich. About 25 minutes in duration, it is scored for SATB chorus and an ensemble of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, two horns, bass trombone, and strings.

Prominent among America’s choral composers, Morten Lauridsen hails from the Pacific Northwest. Primarily active in the realm of sacred music, he has been called a “mystic” because of the serene otherworldly quality of so much of his expression. He is presently Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. In 2007, he received the National Medal of Arts from George W. Bush “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.”

Of his musical transcendence of grief through meditation on Light, Lauridsen writes: “Each of the five connected movements in this choral cycle contains references to ‘Light’ assembled from various sacred Latin texts. I composed Lux Aeterna in response to my mother’s final illness and found great personal comfort and solace in setting these timeless and wondrous words about Light, a universal symbol of illumination at all levels — spiritual, artistic, and intellectual.

“... For the Lux Aeterna I chose as my point of departure the sacred music of the late Renaissance, especially that of Josquin des Prez [1440-1521], to create a quiet, direct, and introspective meditation on Light, using primarily the consonant harmonies, intricate counterpoint, formal procedures, and chant- like melodic lines of that era.

“The work opens and closes with the beginning and ending of the Requiem Mass, with the central three movements drawn respectively from the Te Deum, O Nata Lux, and Veni, Sancte Spiritus. The opening Introitus introduces several themes that recur later in the work and includes an extended canon on ‘et lux perpetua.’ In Te, Domine, Speravi contains, among other musical elements, the cantus firmus ‘Herzliebster Jesu’ (from the Nuremberg Songbook, 1677) and a lengthy inverted canon on ‘fiat misericordia.’ O Nata Lux and Veni, Sancte Spiritus are paired songs, the former an a cappella motet at the center of the work and the latter a spirited, jubilant canticle. A quiet setting of the Agnus Dei precedes the final Lux Aeterna, which reprises the opening section of the Introitus and concludes with a joyful and celebratory Alleluia.”

I. Introitus

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Te decet hymnus Deus in Zion,

et tibi redetur votum

in Jerusalem: exaudi orationem meam,

ad te omnis caro veniet.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

II. In Te, Domine, Speravi

Tu ad liberandum suscepturas hominem

non horruisti Virginis uterum.

Tu devicto mortis aculeo,

aperuisti credentibus regna coelorum.

Exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis.

Miserere nostri, Domine,

miserere nostri.

Fiat misericordia tua, Domine,

super nos quemadmodum speravimus in te.

In te Domine, speravi:

non confundar in aeternum.

III. O Nata Lux

O nata lux de lumine,

Jesu redemptor saeculi,

dignare clemens supplicum

laudes preces que sumere.

Qui carne quondam contegi

dignatus es pro perditis.

Nos membra confer effici,

tui beati corporis.

IV. Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,

Et emitte coelitus

Lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum, V

eni, dator munerum,

Veni, lumen cordium.

Consolatory optime,

Dulcis hospes animae,

Dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,

In aestu temperies,

In fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,

Reple cordis intima

Tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,

Nihil est in homine,

Nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,

Riga quod est aridum,

Sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,

Fove quod est frigidum,

Rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,

In te confidentibus,

Sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,

Da salutis exitum,

Da perenne gaudium.

V. Agnus Dei—Lux Aeterna

Agnus Dei,

qui tollis peccata mundi,

dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei,

qui tollis peccata mundi,

dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei,

qui tollis peccata mundi,

dona eis requiem sempiternam.

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine:

Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:

Quia pius es.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Alleluia. Amen

I. Introitus

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. A hymn befits thee, O God in Zion and to thee a vow shall be fulfilled in Jerusalem: Hear my prayer, for unto thee all flesh shall come. Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

II. In Te, Domine, Speravi

To deliver us, you became human, and did not disdain the Virgin’s womb. Having blunted the sting of death, You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

A light has risen in the darkness for the upright. have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Let thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, as we have trusted in thee. In thee, O Lord, I have trusted: let me never be confounded.

III. O Nata Lux

O born light of light, Jesus, redeemer of the world, mercifully deem worthy and accept the praises and prayers of your supplicants. Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh for the sake of the lost ones, grant us to be made members of your holy body.

IV. Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, Send forth from heaven The ray of thy light. Come, Father of the poor. Come, giver of gifts, Come, light of hearts. Thou best of Consolers, Sweet guest of the soul, Sweet refreshment. In labor, thou art rest, In heat, the tempering, In grief, the consolation. O Light most blessed, Fill the inmost heart Of all thy faithful. Without your grace, There is nothing in us, Nothing that is not harmful. Cleanse what is sordid, Moisten what is arid, Heal what is hurt. Flex what is rigid, Fire what is frigid, Correct what goes astray. Grant to thy faithful, Those trusting in thee, Thy sacred seven-fold gifts Grant the reward of virtue, Grant the deliverance of salvation, Grant everlasting joy.

V. Agnus Dei – Lux Aeterna

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. grant them rest everlasting.

May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord; in the company of thy Saints forever and ever for thou art merciful.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Alleluia. Amen

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