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O Magnum Mysterium

By Chris Owenby

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SATB choir and piano accompaniment - Grade 4+
Composed by Chris Owenby. Pathways Series. Octavo. 17 pages. Duration 6 minutes. Published by Imagine Music - Digital (IZ.VMF1310).

Item Number: IZ.VMF1310

Composer's Notes
I have always been intrigued by this evocative text and the fact that many composers have set it, most notably Palestrina, Victoria, Poulenc, and Lauridsen. The birth of Christ is a wonderful mystery and I believe that the author of this text did a marvelous job in representing this.

My setting has an ABA' structure. I sought to evoke the mystery of Christ's birth by avoiding traditional cadences in the first few measures of the piece. This particular chord progression occurs precisely four times in the piece, two of which cadence on a C-Major chord.Asolo soprano, representing the Virgin Mary, marks the beginning of the B section, which is a haunting contrast to the material in section A. A climax on the words "Dominum Christum" marks the re-transition to A' where the Soprano and Alto voices joyfully proclaim "Alleluia."

It is my hope that listener will reflect on the marvelous gift of Christ and what he was sent to accomplish for humankind.

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