From light to dark and back once again, Tenebrae takes inspiration from Medieval motets to convey the transition from anguish to hope. Its subdued chromatic harmonies and scale passages will challenge any talented woodwind section, while brass will find their range and coordination tested.
This piece is entitled "Tenebrae" from the Latin word for darkness. It is based on the service in the Roman Catholic church during Holy Week in which the lights of the church gradually dim, resulting in total darkness. The piece begins loudly and brightly, and gradually changes instrumentation to reveal the transition, reflecting a state where darkness has enveloped the world. The light re-enters the world, however,
and although it begins gradually and almost imperceptively, it spreads, grows, and crescendos until the world is filled with light once more.
As I was writing this piece, I was affected by the burning of the Notre Dame cathedral, and so decided to include references to motets composed in that church during the medieval era.