The three choral pieces using sacred texts recorded here do not constitute a cycle, but rather illuminate the composer’s development, and are connected across decades by Lauridsen’s love of early music. The two anthems to Psalm texts, I will lift up mine eyes and O come, let us sing unto the Lord (both 1970), are examples of Lauridsen’s style in embryo, as it were, for both were written while the composer was just twenty-seven years old. Both anthems evince the contrapuntal mastery that would prove an enduring feature of the composer’s technique. The pure and austere lines of I will lift up mine eyes, an a cappella setting of Psalm 121, evoke ancient organum and the imitative devices of Medieval polyphony. Complex chord structures and elaborate canonic procedures give O come, let us sing unto the Lord a sense of inexorable forward momentum. The coruscating organ part further enhances the prevailing mood of joy that pervades this anthem.
from notes by Byron Adams © 2007