A number of Arvo Pärt's works are the result of commissions to mark significant anniversaries. In the case of Morning star
it was the 175th birthday of the north-English Durham University in 2007 (although the first performance was given by the University’s choir in London’s church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in December that year). Just as he has repeatedly shown a knack of selecting place- and people-specific texts for such occasional pieces, Pärt chose a prayer inscribed above the tomb of St Bede—better known perhaps as the scholar The Venerable Bede—in Durham’s mighty cathedral.
from notes by Meurig Bowen © 2014