Luminous Night of the Soul
SATB, piano, string quartet
Lyrics: Charles Anthony Silvestri/St. John of the Cross
Publisher: Walton Music
Long before music was sung by a choir,
Long before silver was shaped in the fire,
Long before poets inspired the heart,
You were the Spirit of all that is art.
You give the potter the feel of the clay;
You give the actor the right part to play;
You give the author a story to tell;
You are the prayer in the sound of a bell.
Praise to all lovers who feel your desire!
Praise to all music which soars to inspire!
Praise to the wonders of Thy artistry
Our Divine Spirit, all glory to Thee.
(Charles Anthony Silvestri)
O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.
(St. John of the Cross)
Set to a new text by Charles Anthony Silvestri as well as a stanza from St. John of the Cross’ poem used in the predecessor to this piece, Luminous Night of the Soul is the sequel to Dark Night of the Soul, which was published in 2011. Both works are independent pieces that can be performed separately, but they are also conceived as two movements of the same work.
Dark Night and Luminous Night are influenced by a wish to feature the piano more heavily in choral music, not as generic, unassuming accompaniment, but as an equal partner to the choir, aided and supported by the string quartet. Though most of all, I just wanted to attempt to find ways to compose lush, warm, symphonic-sounding music, while still only scoring for five instruments, in addition to the choir.