Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Magnum Mysterium

There are three choral works that I have heard which reach the level of sublime: Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” “Holy Radiant Light,” by Russian composer Alexander Gretchaninoff  and “O Magnum Mysterium,” by Morten Lauridsen.  Any one of these is beautiful to hear any time of the year,  each one is appropriate for Christmas.  “O Magnum Mysterium,” may be the most beautiful song I have ever heard.  Several years ago,  I was privileged to be in a choir that sang this piece, and that was my introduction to this amazing work.  Here it is performed by the Westminster Cathedral Choir on Christmas Eve, 2009.  Listen and see if you have ever heard any music so beautiful.  If you have, please comment and let me know.

(Many thanks to Penelopepiscopal for posting this video on her blog, which is where I found it.)


  1. Yes, it is beautiful, and I was glad not to be able to understand the words, which I am sure would have taken away the magical feeling inspired by the music. I must admit that I still think waving smoke around is kind of strange. Seems they could at least leave out that part without objection from anybody.

  2. Beautiful. Music, like so many things, depends heavily on personal preference, so some days that might be some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard, on other days not so much. But sublime, yes, it has to be among some of the most sublime pieces.

    Thank you for sharing. I remarked to family the other day that the Christmas season sees some of the highest highs and lowest lows in music and culture. If I anticipate good Christmas music in December, I also dread bad Christmas music. Thank you for sharing some of the good.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...