Upon first hearing the music of Anton Bruckner, I felt deeply connected to the composer and his work. His Eighth Symphony in particular, with its immense harmonic landscapes, devastating silences, and profound “darkness-to-light” narrative, continues to be one of my greatest influences – no doubt, in more ways than I am even aware of. Lux in Tenebris explores these elements of the Eighth Symphony by allowing Brucknerian light to pierce through a dense micropolyphonic fabric.
The work is constructed in three large sections: the first features the main theme of the first movement of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony, the second focuses on harmonies that are built from the pitches of that theme, and the third section features a fragmented quotation of the last iteration of the theme (found in the coda of that same movement), which Bruckner described as “how it is when one is on his deathbed, and opposite hangs a clock, which, while his life comes to an end, beats on ever steadily: tick, tock, tick, tock.”
While Lux in Tenebris features quotations from only the first movement of the Eighth, it also features the C-major sonority from the coda of the Finale, which represents light in Bruckner’s darkness-to-light narrative. The title Lux in Tenebris is an allusion to this narrative and comes from “et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt” (John 1:5), meaning “and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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