Notes & Reviews:
Commissioned in 2009 to celebrate the restoration of Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina, John Fitz Rogers's Magna Mysteria is a seven-movement, 45-minute work for soprano, chorus and children's chorus, and chamber orchestra that delves into "great mysteries" (magna mysteria). Weaving together Latin biblical texts and poetic verse from the sixth-century philosopher Boethius, the composition explores ideas of home and the seeking of home, the elevation of home to a metaphorical or spiritual realm, and the nature of time. Magna Mysteria is at once complex yet accessible, rooted in tradition (from Brahms and Faure to Britten and Stravinsky) yet wholly contemporary. This encore performance recorded in 2014 features soprano Martha Guth, first prize winner at the 2007 Wigmore Hall Int'l Song Competition, as well as the combined adult and children's choirs of Trinity Cathedral, under the direction of conductor and choirmaster Jared Johnson.
American Record Guide, March/April 2016
This 2010 work by the American composer John Fitz Rogers, is a large scale composition for choirs and chamber orchestra. It deals with themes of "mystery", "homelessness", and "big questions", hence the title Magna Mysteria. Rogers is Professor of Composition at the University of South Carolina and a widely performed composer internationally. The work is distinctly tonal and solidly in the realm of "English Cathedral" Choral Music, and has that kind of redolent English romantic 20th Century longing that sometimes brings Howells to mind. The Latin texts from Boethius, the Psalms, and Revelation were compiled by the composer. The sweep of the music is grand and often ravishing in its harmonic beauty. Most notable is track 5, 'Truth's Paradox', where the large swath of the composers' vision is unleashed. The soprano, Martha Guth, brings a fine musicianship and awareness of the text, with rich tone. This is certainly a significant release in this genre, and fans of 20th Century sacred music will want to investigate it. The performance is beautifully pulled together by the Director of Music at the Cathedral, Jared Johnson.
Recording information: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina (01/25/2014/01/27/2014); Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina (01/26/2014).
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Works DetailsRogers, John Fitz : Magna Mysteria, for soprano, chorus, children's chorus (optional) & chamber orchestra
- Performer: Martha Guth
- Conductor: Jared Johnson
- Ensemble: Trinity Cathedral Choir
- Notes: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina (01/25/2014/01/27/2014); Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina (01/26/2014)
- Running Time: 44 min. 17 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Written: 2010