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Sample pages

for mixed choir (SATB with divisi a cappella)
Text: Latin
Duration: 4'00''
Difficulty: 2/5

Composer’s note

O nata lux started life as a piece written for a men’s voices Compline service at Pembroke College. We were consciously trying to include music by women in every service and I found there was very little music for our forces, so decided to write something myself! When writing the start and end of this piece I had in mind the light of a candle, starting from nothing and steadily growing to a constant flame. The sound in these sections should be well-blended and smooth, and the notes should be held for their full values so that there is never any break in the sound. At ‘Jesu redemptor’, the crescendo is powered by the lower parts, specifically through their crotchets. There are moments when the writing is intentionally high for the basses, such as at ‘Qui carne quondam’ – this should begin off the voice and return to a full sound for ‘nos membra confer effici’. Bar 46 is a little nod to Tallis’s setting of O nata lux, the very first choral piece I conducted!


O nata lux de lumine,
Jesu redemptor sæculi,
Dignare clemens supplicum
Laudes precesque sumere.

Qui carne quondam contegi
Dignatus es pro perditis
Nos membra confer effici,
Tui beati corporis.

O Light born of Light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
Mercifully deign to accept
Suppliant praise and prayer.

You who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
For the sake of the lost,
Grant us to be members
Of thy blessed body.

Anna Lapwood

Anna is a conductor, organist, and broadcaster. Appointed Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2016 aged just 21, she conducts the Chapel Choir and Girls’ Choir. Their debut recording, All Things are Quite Silent, was released in 2020 to widespread critical acclaim. Anna’s passion to support girls and women is evident in almost every aspect of her work, especially at Pembroke. In 2018 she established the Pembroke College Girls’ Choir for girls aged 11 to 18 to inspire them to explore the world of choral music. They appeared as guest artists on To Shiver the Sky by American composer, Christopher Tin, for Decca US, recording at Abbey Road Studios. Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, she has also directed the BBC Singers and has led choral workshops around the world. Performing recitals on some of the world’s greatest organs each season, Anna released her debut solo album in 2021 on Signum Records. The album features her transcription of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. As a radio broadcaster she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and has also been featured on Classic FM and presented for Scala Radio. Anna made her TV presenting debut in 2020 hosting coverage of BBC Young Musician.

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