Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Composer Morten Lauridsen, Waldron Island, Washington

Okay, I admit it. I had a hunch, a couple years ago, when programming the works for our upcoming Symphonic Choir performance on April 12, that JS Bach (1685-1750) and Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) would pair together nicely.

But I never knew just how well-fitted their respective works--the Magnificat (1723) and the Lux Aeterna (1997)--would be for each other. 

Across the centuries...two masters unite in expressions of vocal beauty and profound spiritual meaning.

Word painting (Bach-Fecit potentiam/He has shown strength; Lauridsen-Quemadmodum speravimus in te/As we have trusted in thee) abounds. When a composer is so skillfully able to represent textual meaning in musical notation-strongly unified hammer chords, or a heaven-ward rising line-we know we are in the presence of once-in-a-generation greatness.

Musicological pastiche pervades. Bach displays Italian concerto-style, pastorale, stile antico (old style); Lauridsen employs Gregorian chant, Lutheran chorales, pointillistic expressiveness. The layers go on and on.

I hope you'll be able to join us: Friday, April 12, 2013, 8 pm in Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler University campus. Composer Morten Lauridsen will be with (and will speak from the stage); Sebastian has elected to let his music do the talking.

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