Pie Jesu - Nicholas White

Pie Jesu - Nicholas White
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Price: $3.45
Product ID : SY909
Weight: 0.13 lbs
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Min/Max Order: 4 / -


Pie Jesu - Nicholas White

17 pages, 8.5" x 11", Scored for SSATBB
Minimum order of 4 copies
Duration: 14 minutes

Composer’s Note

In 2001, I was commissioned to write a setting of the Kyrie Eleison, based on the famous Adagio in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni. The occasion was a concert to be given at Dumbarton Concerts by the Cantate Chamber Singers, and the commissioner was Angelo Cicolani, who also commissioned this work, originally with his own lyrics as My Mother’s Shadow, some fourteen years later.

With the concert date set for March 21, 2015, I could not resist drawing a parallel with the earlier commission, which would also be programmed alongside the new work, and which was based on a pre-existing piece of music from the Baroque period. Observing that the 330th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s birth would coincide exactly with the concert date, there was no question that My Mother’s Shadow should be based on a piece of Bach, and I went directly to the unaccompanied cello suites, and the Prelude of the fourth suite. Thus, the work began to take shape.

The piece falls into three sections (ABA) and I decided to keep the Bach prelude intact for the first section, with a direct repeat – da capo al fine – after the middle section. While I added my own vocal parts to the existing cello line they remained, for the most part, within the harmonic language of Bach. A notable exception is the section for upper voices, beginning in bar 62. The middle section of the piece takes ideas from the Bach, but develops the harmonic language considerably, incorporating much polytonality and theatrical musical material, inspired by the secularity and contemporary nature of the poetry.

The first performance took place at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, DC on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 8:00pm. The performing ensemble was The Tiffany Consort, with cellist Ben Wensel, and the program also featured works by J.S. Bach (Motet: Jesu, meine Freude), Thomas Tallis (Lamentations of Jeremiah), Gregorio Allegri (Miserere mei), and Nicholas White (Kyrie after Albinoni).

My subsequent decision to add a more traditional text to the existing musical material, resulted in the use of the final four sections of the Dies Irae sequence of the Requiem Mass, taking its title from the final stanza – Pie Jesu.

Also available is the Cello Score as a digital download.

About Nicholas White

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