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Agnus Dei
for SSAA choir, fl, ob, cl, string quintet
(1998)

 

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This piece was composed for the National Kaohsiung Normal University Choir and several student instrumentalists. Because it is based on a section of text from the Roman Catholic Mass, I borrowed some stylistic influences from earlier Mass traditions. Thus, my basic approach is that of 'modal counterpoint' with imitation. But unlike a Renaissance Mass, this counterpoint is freer, the textures vary more, and the presentation is more dramatic. Reflecting the text's meaning, my music begins in a quiet respectful manner, then becomes more forceful and anxious with the words "have mercy on us". The piece then ends quietly and solemnly, as a simple prayer for peace.

(performance duration ca. 4:30)
 


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi; miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi; miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi; dona nobis pacem.

 

Translation of the Latin text:
 

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; grant us peace.