The following is part of an 8-day series, bringing to life the texts of the O Antiphons with the music of JJ Wright and a few words from Wright about the composition of the piece in relation to the the meaning of the sacred text:
“O Radix” from the album O Emmanuel
“O Radix” layers the familiar tune “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” over the original Gregorian chant melody. Remember that all of these Antiphons are sung at Vespers in conjunction with the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), Mary’s proclamation during the visit to her cousin Elizabeth:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
On our journey towards Christmas, this movement brings us back to Mary and recognizes her place in the royal lineage of King David.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem,
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;
kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
JJ Wright for Cecilia Music