for children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra or tubular bells and organ
A dark and beautiful, yet also extremely approachable, work in three movements. The first two are darker in character: evening hymns that ask for protection and comfort through the night. The music lightens for the final hymn, a song for the morning that looks forward to a new beginning.
I have known the Latin texts for this piece since my childhood. As a boy I sang them in versions by two great English Renaissance composers - Thomas Tallis and Robert Whyte. Their music exudes comfort, and the texts, sung at the service of Compline in the evening and Matins in the morning, speak almost of a personal and private relationship with God.
Perhaps these timeless texts speak to us even more poignantly now. Within my piece, the texts in the first two sections Te lucis ante terminum and Christe qui splendor et dies actually speak of darkness — they ask for God's light to protect us through the night and to allay our fears. The last O nata lux speaks with a more positive and hopeful voice, that God's light will give us hope with the new light of the day.