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Katherine Dienes: Jesu Dulc...Embedded audio
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This work was written at the request of Professor Peter Godfrey during my first year as Richard Prothero Organ Scholar at Wellington Cathedral. He set me the task of composing a communion motet as part of my scholarship, and suggested the text of 'Jesu dulcis memoria' as there were not many choral settings of that particular text available. It sets the Latin text of the first two verses only of a hymn often attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux. What followed began as a series of harmonic chord progressions worked out at the keyboard in an improvisatory style, and the composition seemed to flow very naturally from that point. The work was written with the people of the Cathedral Choir at that time very much in mind – for example, the alto solos for the 'two Judys' – Judy Berryman and Judy Wigglesworth – and the soprano solo for Sally Penman. It represents the first choral work I wrote for liturgical use, and although it wanders from the warmth of its home key of E major into its minor equivalent and passes through several keys before and after that point, it returns to the 'sweetness' of E major. It is at once flowing and lyrical, and endeavours to make use of the generous acoustical properties of the Cathedral building.
Dedicated to Peter Godfrey and the Wellington Cathedral Choir