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Sample Pagesfor upper voices (SSAA with divisi) a cappella
Text: Latin (Marian Antiphon)
Duration: c5 minutes
Difficulty: 3/5

Commissioned by Cantus (Trondheim, Norway) and first performed by that choir, conducted Tove Ramlo-Ystad, on 23 March 2019 at Vår Frue Kirke, Trondheim.

This setting of Ave Regina cælorum (Hail, O Queen of Heaven), one of the four Marian antiphons with origins in the 4th century, is a joyous work for upper voices, suitable for children’s or women’s choirs. It is full of energy and, although it is largely homophonic, the rhythmic interplay between the parts creates interesting textures which combine with Arnesen’s recognisable, beautiful harmonic language. The jubilant outer sections contrast with a slower, more mysterious middle section where the text speaks of the Virgin Mary’s beauty. A joy to both sing and listen to, this new piece will make an attractive addition to a concert or service.

Ave Regina cælorum,
Ave Domina Angelorum:
Salve radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:

Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa:
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

Hail, O Queen of Heaven,
Hail, O Lady of Angels:
Hail thou root, hail thou gate,
From whom the light of the world has arisen:

Rejoice, O glorious Virgin,
Beautiful above all others,
Farewell, most beautiful maiden,
And pray for us to Christ.

Kim André Arnesen
Arnesen is one of the most frequently performed composers from Norway today. He grew up in Trondheim where he was a chorister in the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir, later being educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. With an interest in baroque music, contemporary classical music, and popular music, Kim could have taken many roads, but choral music became his greatest passion. As a composer, he had his first performance at the age of 18 with the boys’ choir. Since then he has written music that has been performed and recorded by choirs all over the world. In 2015–16, Kim was Composer-in-residence for the Denver-based choral ensemble Kantorei and Artistic Director Joel Rinsema. The residency concluded with the recording of Kim’s second CD album released in early 2018 on Naxos Records. He continues to enjoy a busy international schedule of commissions.

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