Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A great composer acknowledges his debt to a great painter

"Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose," Francisco de Zurbaran

Zurbaran's painting, which hangs in the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena, is a highly symbolic work paying homage to, among other things, the Virgin Mary's love, purity and chastity.  Morten Lauridsen, the American composer, teaches at USC, which is not far from Pasadena, and knows the painting very well.   In fact, Zurbaran's painting inspired what is perhaps Lauridsen's  most sublime choral work, "O Magnum Mysterium," as Lauridsen himself explains here.
You may listen to "O Magnum Mysterium" performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale by clicking the picture of Mr. Lauridsen.  It's only six minutes long. 

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