SATB, Tenor solo
Choral setting of a traditional Marian votive antiphon (12th-century).
Premier performance: Benedictine College Discovery Day 2015 -- St. Benedict Church
This composition project was the joint effort of many hands, most importantly Mr. Ted Hanman (special thanks also to Fr. Gabriel Landis, Abbot Barnabas, and St. Benedict Parish; Dr. Ruth Krusemark, Dr. Sean Teets, and Ms. Alicia Brozovich; and the Discovery Day Committee).
The image that inspired this piece was that of the women discovering the empty tomb on Easter morning, and in a special way, the interior experience of our Most Blessed Mother. This work is an attempt at capturing the moment in her heart when the angel announces, "Resurrexit, sicut dixit!" (He has risen as He said!).
After opening with the plainchant, this piece begins with a delicate opening line in the female voices. As I meditated upon this scene, I could not imagine the women being greeted with trumpet blast and fanfare. No, after the hell of the passion of their Lord, their hearts raw from the grief and mourning, I hear the angel's announcement as a cool balm upon their wounds. These words were as a cool balm, a healing ointment gently laid upon the rent heart of our Blessed Mother. I hear the angel's words as a whisper. This opening line sets the tone for the entire piece.
This piece then transitions from sorrow to the glorious joy of Easter morning. The words "Resurrexit, sicut dixit!" are first heard in a tenor solo -- the words ring clearly in the ears of the women, hanging on the air of the moment. This is then followed by a fluttering of voices -- a rush of wind. There is a parallel being drawn here: the "ruach" (Heb: spirit, wind) that was breathed into the first Adam now gives life to the risen Christ as the new Adam. The chorus then erupts in thick harmonies, repeating this announcement.
Finally, the piece closes with the peace of promised redemption. There is a settling. This piece is a journey. From the sorrow and grief of the passion; to the joy of the resurrection; to the peace that comes with the promise of redemption.
SATB, Tenor solo
Performed in St. Benedict Church
Hunter Eisenmenger, tenor soloist
Regina coeli, laetare, Alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia;
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia,
R: Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.
Hail Queen of Heaven, Rejoice, Alleluia,
for He whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia;
hath arisen, even as He said, Alleluia,
R: Pray for us to God, Alleluia.