Crucifixus

A piece is dedicated to people who struggle for self-improvement and is to raise awareness about bullying.





A piece commissioned by Joseph Ohrt, Director of Choral Activities, Central Bucks High School-West, on November 15th of 2017. This piece is dedicated to people who struggle for self-improvement and its purpose is to raise awareness about bullying. World premiere performance: March 3, 2018, Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Conference in Washington, DC. Central Bucks High School-West Men’s Choir. Dr. Joseph Ohrt, conductor.







The shape of the piece




Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est,
et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas,
et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos,
cuius regni non erit finis.




Framework: – s y n o p s i s –

“Crucifixus” is a piece for male choir that tries to get into the skin of Christ for 3 minutes to portray the path that goes from humiliation and death to the ascent to glory. The message can be summed up to say that sacrifice is temporary and will be rewarded giving us eternal glory.

Narrative resources

This piece is minimalist and has 3 materials:

  1. Groups of four sixteenths (used for “Crucifixus”, “Resurrexit”, and “Judicare”) serve to unite the lyrics and indicate the transformations. At first it appears as a loud whisper, in the middle of the piece it appears with defined heights, and it ends with complete chords with homorhythmic texture.
  2. Notes held: Part A has irregular entrances to cross the anguish and generate a rhythm, that of the sensation of ritual. In Part B those notes fade away and in Part C reappear but without the irregular entries, giving the feeling of glory and eternity.
  3. Long melodies: When Christ is dying, there is a long melody sung by the bass, then the ascension by baritones and tenors, and in Part B is the polyphony of vivid melodies singing “Gloria”. In Part C this figure will disappear.

Text processing

1’
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est.


The choir is entering as a procession repeating “Crucifixus” Like a loud whisper. Thelamentations are represented by the Tenors sounding like whips with Fp attacks using prolonged and sharp notes in irregular entrances. Once the environment is created, the bass will make a melody since “Etniam” while above them will continue the texture of the “Crusifixus”. At the end of this section, material 1 will reappear to give an idea of closure and thus conclude the section that talks about suffering.

15” to 20”
et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas


After anticipating the idea of the resurrection with a chord that opens, The Tenor will take the note of the Bass (Db / C#) << To portray quickly that it is the same entity that ascends>> and will be adding voices to climb more and more in the tessitura. There will be abrupt changes of tonality and repetition of the word “Resurrexit”. “Secum scriptures” will be the transition / bridge to go to B.

1’20”
“et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.

Et iterum venturus est cum gloria.”


As in other works of mine as “O Magnum Mysterium” or “Entre Humanos”, the melodies become alive, they swirl and interact and imitate each other ascending. The climax is when they say “Patris” in a major D chord (God tonality), the bass returns to take the main motif of the melody and taking a turn more, we discover that the true climax is Gloria (the tenor holds an acute F sounding FF while the melodies dance below of him). Then, appoggiaturas and suspencions to descend the tessitura, total silence and …

50″ 
iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis;


The piece ends up retaking the idea of the sixteenth notes in “Iudicare” with the same enthusiasm as in “Cruxifixus” but in a big chord in pp (it’s the inverse idea of FF and the disorder of the beginning). The Tenor retakes the melody of the beginning saying “vivo” and the bass responds imitating extending the same melody “et mortus” ending the idea of heaviness (since the melody is descending). Chords will sound below the tenor and the tenors will sing keeping the note for many measures to give the idea of something without end.




I want to rehearse this piece with Santiago

Rehearsing with Jonathan Talberg and the CSULB

If you already have the copies for your choir and want to request a skype session to rehearse this piece, do not hesitate to coordinate an rehearsal by clicking here