In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Morten Lauridsen.
Morten Lauridsen is a National Medal of Arts recipient and the most frequently performed American choral composer in modern history. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) and attended Whitman College before traveling south to study composition at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen. He began teaching at the University of Southern California in 1967 and retired in 2020. His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations; Lauridsen, himself, is a recipient of numerous grants, prizes, and commissions. His eight vocal cycles, two collections, and his series of sacred a cappella motets have become the all-time best-selling choral octavos of several publishers. His musical approaches are very diverse, ranging from direct to abstract in response to various characteristics of the texts he sets. Lauridsen’s Latin sacred settings often reference Gregorian chant plus Medieval and Renaissance procedures while blending them within a freshly contemporary lyric sound.
Suggested choral pieces:
- O Magnum Mysterium (Peermusic Classical PEER3295)
- Sure on this Shining Night (Peermusic Classical PEER3602)
- Les Chansons des Roses (Peermusic Classical PEER3839)
For more information about Lauridsen, visit his website: https://www.mortenlauridsen.net/