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Classical Album of the Week: Light Eternal, Choral Music of Morten Lauridsen, Brightens Dark Days

January 28, 2019. We're adding some sunshine to the darkness of winter with this classical album of the week: American composer Morten Laurdisen's Light Eternal. It's a new release from the composer of O Magnum Mysterium that includes some of Lauridson's best-loved works, compiled in honor of his 75th birthday. 

Lauridson's radiant choral works have been enchanting listeners for decades. His choral writing was recognized for its "musical beauty, power and spiritual depth" when he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush in 2007.  

Musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple has called Lauridsen " the only American composer who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered. "

Light Eternal features the Chamber Choir of Europe conducted by Nicol Matt. The album includes O Magnum Mysterium, Lux Aeterna, and other favorites, along with two newly recorded pieces—a setting of a sonnet by Pablo Neruda, and Prayer, set to text by Dana Gioia, the current poet laureate of California, where Lauridsen makes his home. 

Lauridsen is the subject of an award-winning documentary,Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.