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Waylon Wilson
Waylon Wilson

O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini: A Choral Masterpiece


O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini: A Choral Masterpiece




O Magnum Mysterium is a Latin Christmas motet composed by Ivo Antognini, a Swiss composer of contemporary classical music. The text of the motet is based on a traditional Latin hymn that celebrates the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. The motet was written in 2010 as a gift for a small church choir directed by Antognini's wife, Patrizia[^1^].




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The motet is scored for four-part mixed choir (SATB) and has a duration of about three minutes. The music is characterized by a simple but expressive melody, rich harmonies, and a dynamic contrast between soft and loud sections. The motet has been performed by various choirs around the world, such as the ECU Chamber Singers[^2^] and the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin[^3^]. The motet is also available as a sheet music from Sheet Music Plus[^1^].


Ivo Antognini is a rising Swiss composer with an incredible talent for constructing vocal lines. He has composed many works for choir, solo voice, piano, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. He has received several awards and commissions for his compositions, and his music has been published by Alliance Music Publications, Walton Music, Colla Voce Music, and others. He is also a professor of music theory and ear training at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano[^3^].O Magnum Mysterium is not only a beautiful piece of music, but also a rich and fascinating text that has inspired many composers over the centuries. The text is a responsorial chant from the Matins of Christmas, a part of the liturgy that is sung at night before dawn. The text expresses the awe and wonder of the faithful at the mystery of the incarnation of Christ, who was born in a humble manger and witnessed by the animals. The text also praises Mary, the blessed virgin who bore the Son of God.


The origin of the text is unknown, but it is believed to date back to at least the 10th century. The text has an associated plainchant melody that has been sung since the Middle Ages. However, many composers have created their own musical settings of the text, using different styles and techniques to convey the meaning and emotion of the words. Some of the earliest settings are by Renaissance composers such as Paolo Aretino, Adrian Willaert, Nicolas Gombert, William Byrd, Jacob Clemens non Papa, CristÃbal de Morales, D. Pedro de Cristo, Palestrina and TomÃs Luis de Victoria. Victoria's setting is especially famous and he later based a mass on it in 1592.


In more recent times, composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka, Francis Poulenc, Peter Maxwell Davies and Morten Lauridsen have also set the text to music. Lauridsen's setting, composed in 1994 as a commission for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, is one of the most popular and beloved pieces of Christmas music ever written. Lauridsen was inspired by a painting by Francisco de ZurbarÃn called Still Life With Lemons, Oranges And A Rose, which he saw at a museum in Pasadena. He described his setting as "a quiet song of profound inner joy" that reflects the serenity and radiance of the painting. His setting features luminous and shifting harmonies that create a sense of wonder and reverence. e0e6b7cb5c


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