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2013 Magnificat Luminosity

St James Church, King Street, Sydney
14 April 2013

Click on the image to view the souvenir program

The repertoire for this concert included Magnificat by Gerard Brophy and Luminosity by James Whitbourn; a world premiere and an Australian premiere.

Luminosity was composed by James Whitbourn in 2008. The text, compiled and edited by the composer, centers on the transcendent beauty of creation expressed by luminaries down the ages. Texts are taken from the writings of St. John, St. Teresa of Avila, Ryonen, St Augustine, Julian of Norwich and St Isaac of Nineveh.

James Whitbourn has an international reputation as a composer of choral music and as a composer for film & television and concert hall. After studying music at Magdalen College Oxford, he began his career as a BBC producer. His compositional output has been influenced by that background and is admired for its direct connection with performers and audiences worldwide.

LEC's Musical Director (Michelle Leonard) commissioned Gerard Brophy to compose Magnificat for this concert. You can read in detail about his new work by clicking here.

Concert poster

Our poster for this concert (see below) features Gerard Brophy's photograph of the Tsminda Sameba monastery at Kazbegi in Georgia. His visit to this region contributed to his inspiration in composing the three movements of his Magnificat. He writes:

Over the centuries Georgians have perfected their skills in building monasteries in spectacularly remote and inaccessible places and the Tsaminda Samemba (Holy Trinity) monastery is no exception.

This Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic monastery dating from the 14th Century is perched on a ridge some 500 metres above the village of Stephansminda and over 2,500 metres below the majesty of Mt Kazbegi one of the highest peaks of the Greater Caucasus. The silent, eternal grandeur and savage beauty of the site is breathtaking. The location is so inaccessible that in times of war and strife in the lowlands, precious relics of St Niño (originally from Cappadocia - she brought Christianity to Georgia from the Holy Land in the early 4th Century) were brought up here for safekeeping. 

If one continues north up the Georgian Military Highway which threads its way between the sheer cliffs of the Darlial Gorge, in just over 10 kilometres the Russian border of Larsi is reached and beyond that the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. 

This wild, untamed part of the world is, quite simply, a magical place. According to Greek mythology it was to Kazbegi that Prometheus was chained for having stolen fire from the gods. It is a spectacular but an utterly unforgiving environment and its ruggedness is reflected in the peoples of the region who are renowned for their fierce independence and for their warlike spirit.

Musical Director and Conductor: Michelle Leonard
Composer: Gerard Brophy
Saxophone soloist: Christina Leonard
Strings: Enigma Quartet