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LYRIC: Ave Verum

Photo by Daniel McCollough

Todd's fourth commissioned collaboration with composer Jake Runestad is a choral prelude to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus."

Todd's text, "Ave Verum," narrates the careful bathing of the body of Christ by those who recovered it prior to the resurrection, and Runestad's setting for choir and string orchestra establishes the text as an introduction to Mozart's classic, so that the two works become one seamless piece.

Reverent, mystical, a kind of minor-key lullaby, the work was premiered by 400 voices and the Choral Arts Society of Washington at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The score is available for SATB and full orchestra from JR Music.

The challenge I set for myself in writing this text was to put myself into Mozart's heart, and to imagine what he may have been feeling or thinking about as he was preparing to write his famous "Ave Verum Corpus." I don't think of this text as Christian, even though its subject matter is Christian. I think of it as secular: What was it like, this amazing moment, for those mortals who were there that day?


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