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Agnus Dei

for SATB choir and piano

I have always greatly enjoyed traditional Gregorian chant style music. It's simplicity and metric ambiguity has always fascinated me. When I came up with the main musical idea (the first two measures, essentially) for Agnus Dei, I had no plans to compose any choral music. However, this little idea had such resemblances to an ancient Gregorian melody that I had almost no choice but to employ it in a choral setting. Naturally, the inclination was to use the traditional Latin text as well. Harmonically, on the other hand, my work is much more modern--making use of many small add chords, pandiatonic-type functions, and parallel motions that any Western music theorist would despise. I felt that this combination--an archaic sounding melody and modern harmonic ideas--creates a warm and lush musical space that is not just appropriate for a concert hall but also feels right at home in a mass or church service.

Instrumentation: SATB choir and Piano


Duration: About 5 minutes

Score available for purchase.

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