You’ll know it as “Groundhog Day.” It’s a turning point in the year surrounded with Northern mythology, like the Celtic folk tale of the Blue Hag, or the more down-to-earth Canadian legend of the rodent who sees his shadow and returns to his lair for 40 days. The Church of St. Mary Magdalene celebrates Mary presenting her baby to Simeon in the temple. The service involves a beautiful procession with candles and lovely music like the Nunc Dimittis. It’s sort of the last remnant of the Christmas season, and you have to eat all your left over plum pudding by midnight or you will turn into a furry, subterranean animal.
I’ve just posted a new free music download on my compositions page. Dirk Maes commissioned this piece in memory of his mother. He shares my fondness for the feast day that falls on February 2 and asked for this text. It’s a setting of the Latin hymn “Christe qui lux es et dies.” It’s the harmonized version of the plainchant that I was working on a while back. Some of you will know the story – that I got into writing the fauxbourdons and then realized I had the original tune wrong. Well, it’s all fixed now and ready to sing with your MEN’s choir. Just visit my “compositions” page on this website, and click on the PDF. You can sing it in Latin or in English.
Dirk Maes conducts Voces Capituli in Antwerp. I have never met these chaps, nor heard them sing, but they did tour quite a bit of my music to Rome last summer. I’m hoping that I can meet them or hear them sing this summer since I plan to travel a bit in Holland and Belgium before heading up to Worcester for the Three Choirs Festival.
If you like the piece “Christe qui lux es et dies” but you need an SATB or women’s choir version, just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do for you : )