In Lucem for SATB choir

In Lucem ©2021 Anke de Bruijn & Peter Duiverman. Our music for your choir – sheet music and mp3’s available through stoneandtara.com/songbook Background notes to ‘In Lucem’ All of us have, at some point in our lives, felt that we…

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In Lucem ©2021 Anke de Bruijn & Peter Duiverman. Our music for your choir – sheet music and mp3’s available through stoneandtara.com/songbook

Background notes to ‘In Lucem’
All of us have, at some point in our lives, felt that we were on the verge of losing everything we cared about. And many of us have actually experienced great loss. We know the feeling, and perhaps in these past few years even more so. In this time of uncertainty, illness and climatological disaster, the feeling of loss is affecting us all and pressing on our souls. Our personal and social world has changed dramatically, and the very ground we walk on is trembling.
In a sense it may have felt like this to Job, the biblical figure who was tested by God in a cruel game in which he was stripped of everything he had.
I remember his story being read to me when I was a child, and it would make me shudder. One part of the tale particularly stuck with me. It is toward the end, where the author mentions that Job finds a new home, and becomes a happy man again. I remember being stupefied when my father read this to us. How could anyone, I asked myself, be happy again after such loss, such sorrow, such great grief?

Perhaps this is making you smile, because you, like Job, have come out the other side of loss and grief. You may even have grown wiser and more patient as a result. Some, though, still struggle with the idea that there is always a promise in loss; that grief clears the way to the possibility of contentment. I wonder. But then again, perhaps these are not ‘mind’ concepts, but more ‘soul’ things. And what better language to speak to the soul but music!

The powerful opening theme of In Lucem has received lyrics inspired by the book of Job, where he is told: ‘You will forget your misery.’ Excerpts from Psalm 126 reinforce the message: ‘They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy’. In the opening bars, the soprano voices soar, angel-like, right into the clouds, launching the glorious theme of the first part. The altos answer in a down-to-earth, almost motherly, soothing tone – ‘There, there. You will be fine’. The men’s voices provide stability, reinforcing the stately chords, offering fragments of the lyrics. The magnificent organ accompaniment completes the triumphant character of the piece – a beautiful musical group hug, celebrating the so-hard-to-grasp wisdom of accepting that nothing is permanent and finding consolation in the knowledge that we are not alone.

In lucem

Miseriae oblivisceris.
Laeta eris, luce vestieris.
Dolor tibi facta erit vaga memoria.

Exsultabimus et in gaudio metemus.
Ridebimus, amabimus iterum.
Dolor nostrum erit aqua fluminis,
transiens per terram, migrans in mare.

Miseriae oblivisceris.
Laeta eris, luce vestieris.
Dolor tibi facta erit vaga memoria.

You will forget your sorrow.
You will be happy, you will clothe yourself in light.
Your sadness will be made a vague memory.

We will shout and sing and reap in joy.
We will laugh again, we will love again.

Our sadness will be like a river
Traveling across the earth, flowing into the ocean.

You will forget your sorrow.
You will be happy, you will clothe yourself in light.
Your sadness will be made a vague memory.

With gratitude to Bart ‘Demodokos’ Berman my teacher of Latin and a fine musician.

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