Searching for Graham Keitch - 5 results.
Now [we] must honour the guardian of heaven,
This setting of O nata lux (O Light born of Light) was first sung by Antiphon in Exeter Cathedral, January 2016 and
subsequently in concert at Buckfast Abbey. It is also recorded on their O my people CD (Willowhayne Records Ltd, WHR038CDFP) from
which these notes by David Davies are taken.
'O nata lux celebrates an ecstatic text for the Feast of the Transfiguration. Keitch's expansive musical language unfolds with effective dialogue between choral textures of varying sizes, and while one senses the world of medieval monophony is never far away, the piece is shot through with richness of sound and a keen ear to the text.'
The motet is suitable for liturgical or concert use most times of the year.
This SSATB motet is a setting of words that are immediately familiar; the Church was founded on precious stones, 'the prophets, apostles and holy martyrs'. The theme appears frequently throughout the liturgical year which provides many opportunities for the motet to be sung. The text is a recent transcription by Gabriel Aydin of an ancient Syriac hymn from the School of Edessa. It speaks literally, to a foundational grounding in faith. The words 'the bars of Sheol did not and will not overcome it' remind us of the Archangel Michael's triumph over evil, while 'hallelujah' frames the Eucharistic rite. Ultimately, it is the truth that lies at the very heart of the atonement, 'for the forgiveness of sins', which brings the motet to a reflective and peaceful conclusion.
The well known words of Lully, Lullay (otherwise known as the 'Coventry Carol') date from the 16th century. They refer to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which King Herod ordered the slaughter of all infant males under the age of two in Bethlehem. This unaccompanied setting takes the form of a lullaby sung by the mothers of the unfortunate children. While settings of Lully, Lullay are often sung during Christmas carol services, the motet can be sung in the post Christmas-period of Epiphany. The popular text will also ensure it is equally at home as a concert piece at other times of the year too. Its origins can be traced back to the Coventry mystery play which was originally performed in the summer during the 1500s.
King David's grief over the loss of his son Absalom is enacted through the text of the motet, Absalon fili mi. This short setting is one
of several works composed for David and Judith Acres who requested the text to be set for their upper voices choir, Contrapunctus Early
Music. They gave the first performance at St John the Evangelist Cathedral, Cleveland, OH in April 2016. The full choir edition
published here was intended for one of the Acres' other choirs, The King's Counterpoint, based in Charleston, SC. It was first sung by
them during an all-Keitch evensong at Wells Cathedral a few months later.
The text has no specific place in the liturgical calendar and can be sung throughout most of the year. However, King David's outpouring of grief at the loss of his dear son draws a parallel with the mood of Passion Week when Christians reflect on Christ's suffering and death on the cross. The story of King David is familiar in the secular world too and the work is equally at home as a concert item.
Keitch's treatment of this powerful text reflects the restraint and sensitivity that has become the hallmark of his work and the Anglican choral tradition in general. The choir loved singing this piece, and the first night's audience demanded an encore! - David Acres