conductor · composer
rory wainwright johnston
Ave regina caelorum
For unaccompanied mixed choir
This setting of the well known Marian antiphon Ave Regina Caelorum (Hail Queen of Heaven) takes its inspiration from Renaissance metrical equivalence and Medieval hocketing.
The opening of the piece takes the two latin words Ave, or ‘Hail’, and Gaude, or ‘Rejoice’, and juxtaposes their character with the jovial Gaude bounding forwards with energy, and the more firm salutation of Ave gradually getting closer until we get the full force of its character the first time we hear the entire phrase Ave Regina Caelorum, cementing it’s majestic presence.
The music then moves into a more introspective moment with the text ‘Salve, radix, salve porta – Ex qua mundo lux est orta’ before the choir then break out again into the rhythmic and excited material from the opening, but this time superimposed with the harmonies of the ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’ motif.
This movement finally arrives at its harmonic resolution but the metre is keeps pushing, unrelenting to the end.
Part of Three Latin Motets