Instrumentation SSA youth choir, woodblock (optional) and piano

Timing ca. 3’15”

Composed 2012/2017

Words by Suzanne Steele

World Premiere June 17, 2018, Calvin Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Children’s Choir; Elise Bradley, conductor

Programme Notes

Lux is a short work for youth choir adapted from the Lux Aeterna movement from Suzanne Steele and Jeffrey Ryan’s oratorio Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation. Rather than using the traditional Latin Requiem text, Steele’s poetry casts this movement as birds that fly in one at a time until they become a joyous flock, beginning in English with the blackbird, transforming briefly to Latin for their scientific designations, then to Pashto for many bird species common in Afghanistan. The flock coalesces around the central word “Lux” (“Light”) before the birds fly out in reverse order. Ryan’s setting for youth choir treats this flurry of avian activity as a children’s game, a source of light and play in the midst of conflict.

The original Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation was commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with One Yellow Rabbit, with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and residency assistance from the Banff Centre for the Arts. Lux is dedicated to Catherine Glaser-Climie, whose Cantaré Children’s Choir singers were the birds of light in the oratorio’s premiere.

PDF perusal score

Lux perusal

Audio excerpt

Cantaré Children’s Choir, led by Catherine Glaser-Climie

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