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Published on May 6, 2014
This song was sung for my ATCL Singing Diploma exam - I had to submit it, as it wasn't part of Trinity College London's repertoire list. Luckily it was accepted, even though it is unaccompanied.
'Laude' (meaning: 'songs' in Italian) were Medieval works for unaccompanied voice, set to sacred texts - but not associated with any church. Gavin Bryars' Laude are based on such a 13th C. Cortona collection. In these compositions of his, Medieval Chant is seen from a contemporary perspective - so the 'old' is the 'new'. This Lauda (song), composed 2002 is an incantation to the Virgin Mary.
Gavin Bryars says about his 'Laude'; "I relish the challenge of writing something so exposed, so naked and unadorned, where I cannot hide behind, say, a skillfully orchestrated accompaniment. Like a painter who has hitherto had the luxury of painting massive canvases with dense oils, being obliged to work in pen and ink, in black and white, on a simple piece of paper. And like a Zen artist, refusing the possibility of revision and correction." I thank Greg Tricker and Claudia Behr very much for letting me use photos of their beautiful Mary Icons and also Greg's Mary sculpture, to accompany my singing. (You can see Greg's work between 2.09-2.35 on the video and also at 3.06-3.19. Claudia Behr's 'Mother of God Icon', you can find between 1.29-1.37).
The translation of the Latin words are as follows:
Most exalted light, shining with great glory, in you, sweet love, is our consolation.
Hail, queen and maiden full of love, the star of the sea which does not keep hidden, divine light, gracious virtue, exquisite beauty, you are the image of God.
Most exalted light.....etc.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, you are the way which leads us to life; You have rescued from darkness and punishment, the earthly race, which was in great peril.
Most exalted light etc.
Pure virgin with all beauty, your greatness is without limit: you have willingly borne our nature which was vile through our many sins.
Most exalted light....etc.
Many thanks for listening and watching! Marianne Lihannah