Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

A Brief Introduction to ‘Te lucis ante’ (2008)

In Program Notes on February 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

My idea for contemporary sacred choir was a piece with universal perspective, which does not identify a place, a person, or a religion.
For this image, I excluded descriptions of the Hell, longing for Beatrice, specific names, religious dialogues from the text.
From The Divine Comedy, I finally chose the beginning of the Canto VIII of The Purgatorio, which has a good dramatic momentum towards the purification, and in a way, summarize whole book.
The introduction describes mourning at dusk, with the sound of the bell afar.           In the following section, one person begins prayers, the silence is gradually filled, as numbers of people join and the prayer develops into the Hymn ‘Te lucis ante’. The music gradually expands.
In the last section, two angels appear and descend in a dazzling light.

Children Chorus

In Past Events on February 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Exhibition of Contemporary Music 2009
Organization: Japan Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM Japanese Section)

Sunday 1st February 2009
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall

The programme includes
‘Te lucis ante’ for children’s choir and piano
NHK Tokyo Children Chorus

Katsunori Maeda: piano
conducted by Noriko Kaneda

The Divine Comedy; The Purgatorio Canto VIII (excerpt)

In Text on February 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm
It was the hour that turns the memories
    of sailing men their first day out,
    the bell that seems to mourn the dying day―
I watched a spirit. Raising his hands,
    he joined his palms in prayer and turned his rapt eyes east,
    as if to say: “I have no thought except that Thou art there.”
“Te lucis ante” swelled from him so sweetly,
    with such devotion and so pure a tone,
    my senses lost the sense of self completely.
Then all the others with a golden peal
    joined in the hymn and sang it to the end,
    their eyes devoutly raised to Heaven’s wheel.
I saw that host of kings,
    stand still and pale and humble,
    eyes raised to Heaven as if in expectation.
I saw two angels
    issue and descend from Heaven’s height,
    bearing two flaming swords.
Green as a leaf is at its first unfurling,
    their robes; and green the wings that beat and blew
    the flowing folds back, fluttering and whirling.
One landed just above me,
    and one flew to the other bank. Thus,
    the people were contained between the two.
I could see clearly that their hair was gold,
    but my eyes drew back bedazzled from their faces,
    defeated by more light than they could hold.
≪They are from Mary’s bosom≫ 
                                                                                         — English translation of the text

Te lucis ante (Romanized Japanese)

In Text on February 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm
Toki wa kita.
    Funade no kioku yomigaeri
    yugure o itamu kane no ne.
Seilei o mita.
    Ryote o age, te o awase, toho o mita.
    “Hoka wa issai nento ni nashi” Kami ni tsugeru yo ni.
“Te lucis ante”
    Sono kuchi kara hasse rareru kiyorakana shirabe ni
    omowazu ware o wasureta.
Mawari no seilei tachi subete mo
    konjiki no hibiki de showa shi
    shinko no manazashi wa tenkyu ni mukatta.
Kedakaki seilei no mure
    tachisukumi, aozame, tsutsumashiku
    nanika o matsu yo ni ten o aoida.
Futari no tenshi tachi
    hono no tsurugi o mochi
    ten no takami kara araware, orite kita.
Wakaba no yona midori no koromo wa hirogari
    midori no tsubasa ni utare, fukare, nabiki,
    hatameki, uzumaki.
Hitori wa watashi no ue ni fuyu shi
    hitori wa taigan ni nagare
    seilei tachi wa kono futari ni tsutsumareta.
Sono ogon no kami wa mirukotoga dekitaga
    kao no amari no kagayaki ni uchinomesare
    mega kuranda.
« Maria no futokoro kara kitaru tenshi tachi yo »

Text by Satoru Ikeda                      NHK_Children NHK Children Chorus
from The Divine Comedy: The Purgatorio Canto VIII (excerpt) by Dante Alighieri