Agnus Dei (From "And on Earth Peace : a Chanticleer Mass")
About Agnus Dei (From "And on Earth Peace : a Chanticleer Mass")
Duration | 9.30
This is the final movement from "And on Earth, Peace : A Chanticleer Mass", a specially commissioned multi-composer setting of the Mass by the renowned American choir Chanticleer. The tenor solo is demanding. The opening section, a sparse Irish-language setting of the Agnus Dei, is followed by a richly chromatic setting of the Latin text.
The video on this page will give you a full score reading sung by the voices of ANÚNA.
- Mixed Voice Chorus, Tenor Solo
Some reviews of the work :
"McGlynn's gorgeous setting of the Agnus Dei dramatically egins with a solo voice intoning a Celtic-inflected melody over a cluster of shifting drones before gradually morphing into a richly chromatic but more harmonically conventional Latin version, over which he floats a ravishingly simple repeating melody." All Music Guide
“But the only composer who didn’t seem tentative about showing a little passion was the Irishman Michael McGlynn, whose appealing “Agnus Dei” began with an evocative, soaring “A Uain De” (“Lamb of God”) and faded to a whispered “Dona nobis pacem” at the end.” New York Times
"Mr. McGlynn, director of the acclaimed Irish choir Anúna, similarly exploits the haunting quality of a droning bass line, over which he has fashioned a chantlike melody tinged with the poignant inflection of Irish folk song. With its gentle backdrop of sustained harmonies, "A Uain De" offers a truly peaceful conclusion to a work that embraces many different aspects of faith." Wall Street Journal
"Another high point is Irish composer Michael McGlynn's Agnus Dei. McGlynn, who is influenced by medieval and Irish traditional music, builds a cushion of choral support and overtone effects that buoy a plea to the Lamb of God in the guise of a lilting Irish tenor solo."
"Dublin composer Michael McGlynn contributed a gorgeous Gaelic setting of the Agnus Dei, steeped in the traditional strains of Irish music...". San Francisco Chronicle
“The tonal colors were miraculous”. journalstar.com
Michael gave a short interview for the Classical Music Magazine Gramophone :
A cross-cultural phenomenon
For other composers working on this project, the sheer pleasure of working within choral music and specifically with Chanticleer offered great impetus, but the challenge of working at once on a collaboration and yet in bringing a very particular cultural viewpoint was irresistible. As Michael McGlynn, who was born in Dublin, says: "Choral music is, in my country, a very young form. Of course, we have an incredible legacy of music-making in Ireland, but it has really been focused on traditional styles. So we really don't have much of an established choral culture here yet." That said, McGlynn has had no able popular success with his own group, Anuna, which he founded 20 years ago; they were part of the Celtic spectacle Riverdance, which has been a huge hit on stages across the globe.)
"So," he says, "we have access on the one hand to these very ancient musical forms, like the Mass itself, but we don't have the centuries of tradition - baggage, really, in many ways - that choral composers and performers from other countries have, and there's no point in us trying to mimic singers from other countries. So we have this tremendous opportunity."
For McGlynn, however, opportunities to contribute to the choral literature are a particular pleasure. "I must admit that I'm absolutely obsessed with choral singing," he says. "No other form binds communities together the way that choral music does. I can go anywhere from the UK to Japan and talk to other choral directors, and find that we all speak the same language. We have the same joys, the same issues. It is the most inclusive form of classical music imaginable."
"To write expressly for Chanticleer, though, is a particular joy - they sing just so beautifully, and they have such a distinct sound that can go from early music to American songbook standards. I've worked with them in the past, and the idea of writing for them again, and particularly in this context, was just so attractive."
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