Leonard Enns

composer, conductor, Monarda Music

Aperi, Domine, os meum

program note

This composition was commissioned by director Dariusz Zimnicki for the 15th anniversary of ChAPW (the Warsaw University of Technology Academic Choir), and premiered by the choir at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall on 28 October 2015.  

Since the request was for a sacred Latin text, I chose words from the Divine Office and from Psalm 51 (Psalm 50, Vulgate) that I find particularly relevant to choral musicians:  “Open, Lord, my mouth to bless your holy Name, and my mouth will declare your praise.” The basic generating idea of the music is the opening of the lips, beginning with an initial hum, energized by the syllables of “Domine” (Lord); the music progresses from the initial hum to normally articulated text and then to exuberant praise, reflecting both the development of song and the act of praise itself.  The composition ends with a gentle, hummed cadential section.