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Exultet Terra

By Cappella Clausura; Peggy Pearson; Jennifer Slowik; Barbara Lafitte; Stephanie Busby; Sally Merriman

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By Cappella Clausura; Peggy Pearson; Jennifer Slowik; Barbara Lafitte; Stephanie Busby; Sally Merriman. By Hildegard von Bingen; Hilary Tann. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Navona Records (NX.NV6069).

Item Number: NX.NV6069

Navona Records welcomes Amelia LeClair to the family with her new release EXULTET TERRA. LeClair presents the works of Hilary Tann in step with Cappella Clausura. LeClair takes ten of Tann's works and presents them with soaring arrangements. The first five are a cappella performances, while the latter five (which make up the Exultet Terra suite) feature English horns, oboe, and bassoon. Tann chooses the double reed quintet for the antiphonal effects, claiming that they seem the most "earth-like combination since reeds are like grasses". Tann is known for taking inspiration from nature in her works. LeClair cites Hildegard von Bingen, recognized as one of the first female composers, as a special influence on this project - specifically the coda of her medieval opera Ordo Virtutum, where the ending chant begins enigmatically with two consecutive fifths, rising immediately to the 9th of the mode. Such phrasing was virtually unheard of in the era, and in all chant repertoire in general. In addition to paying homage to one of the first female composers, Tann draws upon Anne Bradstreet, widely considered North America's first published female poet, for further inspiration on both Contemplations (8, 9) and Contemplations (21, 22). Tann follows a theme of older texts and motifs inspiring Exultet Terra. The text of the second track, The Moor, was inspired by Welsh poet R. S. Thomas. The Welsh connection continues, as the Welsh hymn Rheidol by Ieuan Gwyllt is echoed in the music. Furthermore, the phrase "Exultet Terra" translates as "Let the Earth Be Glad," which allowed Tann to reimagine her favorite biblical verses and combine them with three favorite poems by the Welsh metaphysical poet and Anglican priest, George Herbert (1593-1633). This combination of reworking and drawing inspiration from old texts through ethereal choral arrangements makes Amelia LeClair & Hilary Tann's collaboration supremely beautiful and unique.

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