Five Meditations

for Orchestra

James Primosch

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Duration: 21:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This suite of meditations on Gregorian themes was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation, and was completed in 1993.

The piece is part of a series of works in which I have employed old sacred melodies as a focus for my musical contemplations. The first movement, "Victimae Paschali Laudes", works with the Easter sequence, a hymn chanted on Easter Sunday in praise of the risen Savior. In the second movement, "Corde Natus Ex Parentis", an Advent hymn, is treated in mensuration canon, where the melody is simultaneously stated in different tempi. (This movement is an instrumental version of what was originally an arrangement for voice and chamber ensemble in my "Four Sacred Songs"). The mystery of Christ?s presence in the Eucharist is reflected in the dark tone of the third movement, which sets "Pange Lingua", a hymn with words by St. Thomas Aquinas. The fourth movement?s source is not, strictly speaking, Gregorian. Rather, it is an old tune, known as the "Agincourt" carol, which I came to know with words speaking of the glory of Jesus in the Transfiguration: ?O wondrous type, O vision fair, of glory that the church may share?. The finale combines phrases from the Easter Proclamation sung at the liturgy for Holy Saturday night with a solemn Easter Alleluia, along with musical material from the first movement, including the "Victimae" melody.

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation
Composition Date 1993
Orchestration 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.


I. Victimae Paschali laudes
II. Corde natus ex parentis
III. Pange lingua gloriosi
IV. Caelestis formam gloriae
V. Exsultet

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