O Magnum Mysterium

When it comes to organized religions, my motto is ‘if I get a good pitch, I’ll swing’.  I do spend a lot of time in churches, though, because that’s where the sublimity is. 

So, in honor of Christmas day, I offer you two choral settings of the medieval poem O Magnum Mysterium.  The first is by Tomas Luis de Victoria (huge .mp3), and the second by the American composer Morten Lauridsen (even huger .mp3).

And to make this post even more multimedia, here’s a 14th-century nativity from an anonymous Cologne painter:


3 thoughts on “O Magnum Mysterium

  1. Hey, great – thanks a lot. I sang the Lauridsen version with the Chœur de l’Université Laval last December, and I always wanted to know what it sounds like when it’s actually executed well 😀

  2. A “misterium” is to find anyone that has good taste on sending Christmas messages. Great post! God Bless You, Andrew!

  3. Thanks. Both are splendid. Lauridsen is new territory for me.

    If you like this kind of music, I recommend The Hilliard Ensemble, Perotin (ECM New Series 1385). Particularly the opening “Viderunt omnes.”

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