Adam D. O’Dell’s article discussing The Influence of Gregorian Chant on Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium was recently featured in IFCM’s International Choral Bulletin. A fragment of his article is quoted below.
“Morten Lauridsen is one of the most frequently performed living composers. His works span a number of disciplines and influences, including trumpet concertos, orchestral works, and chamber works. His most influential works, however, are undoubtedly his choral pieces. His choral works are based on sacred and secular texts alike, and each of them carries influence from the era in which the texts are written. His most purchased and most performed work is his setting of the O Magnum Mysterium text.
He wrote the O Magnum Mysterium setting as a commission from the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 1994. The now deceased director of the chorale at the time, Paul Salamunovich, according to Lauridsen, was “one of the great practitioners of Gregorian chant”, 4 and consequently, Lauridsen decided to “use the conjunct melodic ideas of chant as a base” in his setting. These influences included the use of Greek voice leading rules, the use of a “keynote,” and nods to melismatic text setting.”
The International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) is an international association founded in 1982 to facilitate communication and exchange between choral musicians throughout the world. IFCM has around 900 members from all continents. The members are individuals, choirs, organizations, or companies. Through the organizations and choirs IFCM plays a role in choral music and choral events in the world.
O’Dell (b.1992) is currently pursuing his MM in Composition at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, studying with Dr. Chris Dietz, and working as a theory teaching assistant. He recently graduated with a BA in Music from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, where he studied composition with Dr. Amy Dunker, and piano with Nancy Lease and Dr. Sharon Jensen. His research interests include Biomusicology and the study of older styles on modern composition, including Sacred Harp. He has won awards from the Kennedy Center and Make Music Inc. His works have been performed across the United States, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. He is a member of ASCAP and SCI, and is a licensed PARMA artist.