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Donald WomackO magnum mysteriumSATB choir5:001997
Commissioned by the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble
When faced with setting the traditional O magnum mysterium text, I was unable (or unwilling) to escape the influence of Tomás Luis de Victoria's immaculate setting, which has been an important part of my musical consciousness for many years. My setting is dedicated to Victoria, whose influence is heard in the many contrapuntal passages that suggest his sixteenth-century style, though filtered through a late-twentieth-century perspective. In addition to Victoria, influences as diverse as Medieval plainchant, Mozart, early-twentieth-century French style, the late-twentieth-century English composer John Tavener, and even Blues harmony are present.