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Track(s) taken from CDA67576

O magnum mysterium

author of text
Responsories at Matins, Christmas Day

St John's College Choir Cambridge, David Hill (conductor)
Recording details: January 2006
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2006
Total duration: 6 minutes 50 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Polyphony, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks (conductor)
The Concordia Choir, René Clausen (conductor)
The Rodolfus Choir, Ralph Allwood (conductor)
Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks (conductor)


'David Hill's Advent programme imaginatively mingles antiphons, carols, hymns and motets. Favourites alternate with relative rarities such as Edward Naylor's Vox dicentis: Clama, whose sumptuous sonorities unfold gloriously in the chapel's acoustic … the John's choir, fielding what sounds like a vintage crop of trebles, sings throughout with its trademark mixture of refinement and gutsy energy' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This recording holds some of the most exquisite choral singing I have ever heard. They must be one of the finest choirs in England. Not only is the technical standard dazzlingly high, but the readings are engaging, animated and sensitively shaped' (American Record Guide)

'Blend, balance, intonation and diction are all unfailingly top-drawer, and the choir's unanimity of phrasing and dynamic shading come across as something quite special … both engineering and annotation are well up to the same standard' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is a very fine disc indeed … the overall impression with which I’m left is one of great satisfaction and pleasure. The programme has been assembled with great imagination and the execution is well nigh flawless. When one adds in excellent and very atmospheric sound, first rate notes and texts and translations, it all adds up to a very distinguished package indeed. I shall be surprised if I encounter a finer CD of Christmas music this year' (MusicWeb International)
O magnum mysterium is pervaded by the same tenderness and refinement found in Lux aeterna; indeed, this refulgent work was written in 1994, just before Lauridsen began to contemplate the composition of the larger score. The composer has disclosed that this motet is an ‘affirmation of God’s grace to the meek … a quiet song of profound inner joy’. With a text from Christmas Matins that has been set by such disparate composers as Victoria and Poulenc, Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium expresses mystical awe at the mystery of the Incarnation as well as the very human tenderness of the Virgin Mary for her newborn child.

from notes by Byron Adams © 2005

O magnum mysterium est envahi de la même tendresse et du même raffinement que Lux aeterna – ce resplendissant motet fut d’ailleurs écrit en 1994, juste avant que Lauridsen n’envisage la composition du vaste Lux aeterna. Le compositeur a révélé que O magnum mysterium est une «affirmation de la grâce de Dieu envers les doux … un paisible chant d’une profonde joie intime». Reposant sur un texte des matines de Noël déjà mis en musique par des compositeurs aussi divers que Victoria et Poulenc, O magnum mysterium de Lauridsen dit la crainte mystique face au mystère de l’Incarnation, mais aussi la tendresse toute humaine de la Vierge Marie pour son enfant nouveau-né.

extrait des notes rédigées par Byron Adams © 2005
Français: Hypérion

In O magnum mysterium herrscht dieselbe Zartheit und Finesse wie in Lux aeterna vor; und tatsächlich entstand dieses strahlende Stück 1994, kurz bevor Lauridsen es in Erwägung zog, ein größeres Werk zu komponieren. Der Komponist hat darauf hingewiesen, dass diese Motette eine „Bestätigung der Gnade Gottes gegenüber den Sanftmütigen ist … ein ruhiges Lied von tiefgehendem innerlichen Glück“. Der Text stammt aus der Weihnachtsmatutin und ist von den verschiedensten Komponisten, darunter Victoria und Poulenc, vertont worden; Lauridsens O magnum mysterium drückt eine mystische Ehrfurcht vor dem Wunder der Inkarnation und auch der sehr menschlichen Zärtlichkeit der Jungfrau Maria für ihr neugeborenes Kind aus.

aus dem Begleittext von Byron Adams © 2005
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

A choral Christmas
Studio Master: SIGCD257Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
A Christmas Present from Polyphony
NOEL2Super-budget price sampler — Download only
Whitacre, Lauridsen & Chilcott: Choral Music
Studio Master: SIGCD262Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Lauridsen: Lux aeterna & other choral works
Naked Byrd, Vol. 1
SIGCD180Download only
On Christmas night
SIGCD386Download only
Lauridsen: Lux aeterna
This album is not yet available for downloadSACDA67449Super-Audio CD — Deleted
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