Easter, whose universal theme of resurrection and renewed life, is the most significant festival of the Christian Church’s year. These arrangements of music for Holy Week and Easter take us from the deep despair of the Passion (Christus Factus Est, Tristis Est Anima Mea ) through contemplation of the Croxx (Crux Fidelis, Pange Lingua Gloriosa ) to the trumph of the Resurrection (Victimae Paschali Laudes, Regina Caeli ). Though not associated exclusively with Easter Veni Creator Spiritus and Christus Vincit are, respectively, a prayer for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, and a joyful shout at the triumph of Christ.
Conceived by Jack Body, Robert Oliver & Megan Collins
Recorded live on 18 April 2001.
The Choir of St Mary of the Angels, dir. Robert Oliver
Gamelan Padhang Moncar, dir. Budi Putra
Victoria University Student Composers playing gongs, bowls, wine-glasses, and other small instruments
Throatsingers: Mark van Tongeren & Leo Tadagawa
Solo vocalists: Budi Putra, Benicio Sokkong, Felicity Smith, Karen Plimmer, Di Fairley, Megan Collins, Robert Oliver, Nigel Collins
Cello & rabab pasisia: Nigel Collins & Megan Collins
Jews Harpist: Leo Tadagawa
Bagpipes: Tim Cummings & David Sutherland
Organ: Jack Body
Recorded live at a performance at St Mary of the Angels Church, Wellington, April 18, 2001
Expectant waiting, a Jews harp suggests natural sounds, human breath and secret language.
2. Antiphonal Call (Benecio Sokkong, Budi Putra)
Two voices cry to each other - a traditional Kalingga (Philippine) chant, Ewayat, calls for spiritual guidance, and a Javanese (Indonesian) poem, Dandang Gula Tlutur, expresses the loneliness of separation, while bells carry a multitude of meanings.
3. Plainsong: Pange Lingua (arr. Jack Body)
Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament, attributed to St Thomas Aquinas - bread & wine become Christ’s body & blood.
4. Plainsong: Christus Factus Est (arr. Di Fairley)
Gradual for Maundy Thursday, day of the Last Supper. “Christ was made obedient even unto death, for us.”
5. Plainsong: Tristis Est Anima Mea (arr. Leon De Lorenzo)
“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” - a Maundy Thursday responsory. On the Mount of Olives: “Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of sinners”.
6. Manangguang (Nigel Collins, Megan Collins)
This meditation combines delicate improvised melodies of the Sumatran rabab Pasisia with the cello.
7. Plainsong: Vexilla Regis (arr. Sue Street)
“Forth goes the standard of the King” - a meditation on the triumph of life over death, represented by the Cross - a Crusaders’ marching song.
8. Plainsong: Crux Fidelis (arr. Greg Street)
“Faithful cross, O tree, all bounteous, peerless and divine” - a hymn for Good Friday, as the cross is carried in to be seen by the faithful.
9. Easter cry: Lumen Christi
“The light of Christ”, sung at the Easter Vigil, when the candle representing the light of Christ is lit to lead the faithful in procession into the church.
10. Haec Dies (Jack Body, Tim Cummings, David Sutherland)
Organ and bagpipes join in a triumphant blaze of sound.
11. Haec Dies (in the style of Perotin) (Robert Oliver, Nigel Collins, Megan Collins)
A twelfth century organum based on a plainsong phrase “Haec Dies” - “This is the day the Lord has made” - followed by a reinterpretation.
12. Plainsong: Victimae Paschali Laudes (arr. Daniel Lynch)
“Give praise to the Paschal victim”, a sequence for Easter Mass. “Death and Life fought a miraculous duel, the Prince of Life died, but now lives and reigns”.
13. Meditation on Hael Dies (Nigel Collins, Megan Collins)
The organum melody submerged in the nuances of the rabab Pasisia.
14. Plainsong: Regina Caeli (arr. Judith Exley)
Hymn to the Virgin, sung on Easter Day - “He whom thou bore, has risen from the dead, as was promised.”
15. Meditation of Regina Caeli (Mark van Tongeren, Leo Tadagawa)
Tuvan throat singing, combined with a drone, creates a sound continuum that transcends time and place.
16. Plainsong: Veni Creator Spiritus (arr. Jane Hebberd)
“Come Holy Ghost, send down beams from above”. A hymn sung at Pentecost, some weeks after Easter, as the Holy Spirit descends upon the Disciples.
17. Plainsong: Christus vincit (arr. Karen Plimmer)
“Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ rules.” A triumphant shout, sung in St Mary’s on Palm Sunday, but equally appropriate for Easter.
18. Recessional (arr. Di Fairley)