I was listening to the stream from WGUC on the computer last night while reading. A piece I’d never heard of by a composer I’d never heard of was announced: Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen.
From the first few measures, I was transfixed. Scored for chorus and small orchestra, this is an extraordinary work. In five sections and based on the Catholic Requiem mass, each section refers to light and the work as a whole may be thought of as a movement from darkness to light. Now pungent, now serene, now simple, now complex, Lauridsen’s writing never fails to go straight to the heart. We may be reminded in its mood of the Fauré Requiem but Lux Aeterna stands on its own, transcending the modern and the ancient to embrace the eternal longing for peace and rest.
The performance was by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Paul Salamunovich. Recommended enthusiatically.