28 November, 2015 - 19:30
Lauridsen - "Lux aeterna" and works by Harris, Elgar and Whitacre
Organ: Steven Grahl
On the eve of Advent Sunday the Cherwell Singers present their winter concert on the theme of the Christian symbolism of light.
Light is used by the Church as a symbol for what Jesus Christ does and is. In the physical world light has the property of revealing things or showing us where we are going, and so Jesus is seen as the revealer of truth or light by showing things as they really are.
At Advent Christians prepare for the coming of light with the birth of Christ "the light of the world". It is appropriate therefore that we include in the concert settings of such Advent texts as "Hail gladdening light" and "O nata lux de lumine". Our major work in the programme however also references another Christian festival in November, that of All Souls, when the church remembers the dead. In "Lux Aeterna", written in 1997 by the American composer Morten Lauridsen, words are used from the Requiem mass as well as other texts which use the image of light as a symbol of God's power.
Lauridsen is influenced by Gregorian chant and other early techniques of composition to nevertheless create a personal and rich contemporary 25 minute work. We complement it with other "Romantic" works from this side of the ocean by Elgar and Harris as well as one by another leading contemporary American composer, Eric Whitacre.
Steven Grahl, organist of Peterborough Cathedral, will play the popular and festive "Fiat lux" of Theodore Dubois on the suitably French inspired organ of Exeter College Chapel. Do join us for this concert on the eve of the beginning of Advent as we celebrate the coming of "Light out of Darkness".