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O Oriens

2012; SSAATTBB unaccompanied; commissioned by Merton College, Oxford
author of text
Great Antiphon for 21 December

Commissioned by Merton College, Oxford, as part of its 750th-anniversary celebrations, O Oriens (2012) is a setting of the fifth of the seven ‘O Antiphons’ for Advent. In the text, Christ is hailed as the morning star, yet McDowall’s shadowy harmonies and often veiled dynamics ensure that the threat of darkness is ever present. The music builds steadily to a climactic, full-throated restatement of ‘O Oriens’, but the final paragraph is a subdued and solemn parting reminder of those who live ‘in the shadow of death’.

from notes by Paul Conway © 2021


Christmas with St John's
Studio Master: SIGCD458Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
McDowall: Sacred choral music
Studio Master: CDA68251Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 2 on CDA68251 [4'30]
Track 4 on SIGCD458 [4'35] Download only

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