Fratres, after Palestrina

2018

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Fratres, ego enim accepi a Domino quod et tradidi vobis,
quoniam Dominus Jesus in qua nocte tradebatur,
accepit panem et gratias agens fregit et dixit:
Accipite et manducate, hoc est corpus meum.
Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.

The work is inspired by the setting for double choir of Fratres ego enim accepi by Palestrina, which is based on a text commemorating the Last Supper. There was a natural connection for me to the music of Palestrina growing up: from childhood memories in church, to my education as a classically trained musician, and finally during my time studying at The Juilliard School where as a lecturer I taught species counterpoint. For Fratres, I wanted to create a sensory piece that gave the soundscape of the life and community that attend a church. To illustrate this, elements of the composition are left to chance, signaling the voices of a congregation. Mary Magdalene wasn't at the Last Supper. Although she was present at the event, she wasn't listed among the people at the table in any of the four Gospels. Women, present but not at the table, is the cyclical theme, and this plural presence of spirit is brought to life throughout the writing.

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