O Nata Lux

For mixed choir (SATB with divisi a cappella)
Text: Latin
Duration: 4’00”

“O nata lux started life as a piece written for a men’s voices Compline service at Pembroke College. We were consciously trying to include music by women in every service and I found there was very little music for our forces, so decided to write something myself! When writing the start and end of this piece I had in mind the light of a candle, starting from nothing and steadily growing to a constant flame. The sound in these sections should be well-blended and smooth, and the notes should be held for their full values so that there is never any break in the sound. At ‘Jesu redemptor’, the crescendo is powered by the lower parts, specifically through their crotchets. There are moments when the writing is intentionally high for the basses, such as at ‘Qui carne quondam’ – this should begin off the voice and return to a full sound for ‘nos membra confer effici’. Bar 46 is a little nod to Tallis’s setting of O nata lux, the very first choral piece I conducted!” – Anna Lapwood

Boosey & Hawkes