Excellent reviews for Sadie Harrison’s ‘Aurea Luce’ on divine art

Here at UYMP, we are exceedingly pleased that praise has been pouring in for Sadie Harrison’s Aurea Luce, played by Madeleine Mitchell on the divine art record, ‘Violin Muse’.

Harrison writes: Aurea Luce was written at the request of Madeleine Mitchell by way of celebrating my 50th birthday at a concert in my home town of Shaftesbury, Dorset. The work is based on a plainsong melody sung as a hymn for the Feast of St. Peterʼs Chair in Rome, reflecting the dedication of the church in which the premiere took place. I started writing the work on International Womenʼs Day 2015 and it was serendipitous that the hymnʼs text is ascribed to a 5th century female author, Elpis (reputedly the first wife of the philosopher Boethius). The title translates asʻ..with golden light..ʼ and in context within the verse it reads as:

Aurea luce et decore roseo, lux lucis, omne perfudisti seculum, decoran caelos inclito martyrio hac sacra die, quae dat reis veniam. (The beauteous light of Eternity hath flooded with blissful fires this golden day which crowns the Prince of the Apostles, and gives unto the guilty a free way to heaven). (The Poissy Antiphonal, fol. 412v)

Peter Byron-Smith from the 'British Music Society' describes how ‘from the beautiful entrance of the violin, we enter a musical space of thoughtful reflection. The violin spins its mystical magic, by stating the melody, whilst bare chordal piano supports it. This work is totally convincing as a work of musical art, as it is taking us into an intense, but also intimate imagination.’ Paul Corfield Godfrey of 'Music Web International' enthuses about ‘the sublimely hieratic Aurea Luce with its plainchant theme and echoes of resounding bells, which recall the ‘tintinnabulation’ of Arvo Pärt’. Such positive sentiments are further echoed by Catherine Nelson of 'The Strad' who accounts how ‘the slow creep of plainsong in Sadie Harrisons Aurea Luce builds to blistering richness.'

Terry Robins of 'The Whole Note' describes this piece as ‘lovely’, Remy Franck of 'Pizzicato' pronounces it as being ‘very lyrical’ and 'BBC Music Magazine' recounts that ‘in Aurea Luce, the violin hangs glinting in the air, like some angelic visitation.’

We would very much like to congratulate Sadie Harrison on this series of wonderful reviews and hope that many of you will listen to ‘Violin Muse’ to appreciate the beauty of Aurea Luce for yourselves.

(22 Feb 2018)

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