Publisher: Novello & Co
Veni Redemptor (1985)
commissioned by the North Wales Music Festival
Novello & Co Ltd
Kenneth Leighton: Veni Redemptor (A Celebration)
This work was commissioned by the North Wales Festival (1985) with funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council and the first performance was given by John Scott on the organ of St Asaph Cathedral on 26th September 1985.
Composed during the spring and summer of 1985 the music takes as its starting point the great plainsong melody Mode 1 which is usually sung to St Ambrose's hymn Veni Redemptor Gentium (Come, thou Redeemer of the earth), a celebration of Christmas which gives expression to awe and majesty as well as to joy and brightness.
From a simple quiet statement of the melody in the distance the work proceeds in two distinct sections: a slow and intense introduction and a toccata-like Allegro. The Allegro which begins fairly quietly contains a secondary march-like theme which is later combined with the plainsong and grows with it. A final release of energy is achieved in a full statement of Veni Redemptor surrounded by brilliant cadenza-like textures.
© Kenneth Leighton
The Choir of Worcester College