This concert features contrasting and uplifting choral works from two contemporary composers.
Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna is a Requiem, but unlike the well-known settings by Mozart and Verdi, Lauridsen’s work is a tranquil, light-filled piece, first performed in 1997. He has become America’s most performed and highly respected composer and in 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the US President for “his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.”
John Rutter – Magnificat
English composer and conductor John Rutter is well-known for his carols but he has also composed a number of large-scale works for chorus and orchestra. In common with many of these works, the Magnificat was first performed in the USA in 1990, the UK première followed a year later in Coventry Cathedral.
Inspired by JS Bach’s Magnificat, Rutter’s intention was to write a work redolent of Mediterranean sunshine and celebration, evoking the many festivals held throughout Southern Europe in honour of the Virgin Mary. This work is full of energetic, syncopated rhythms and strong melodies and Rutter’s uninhibited tunefulness.