Sydney Chamber Choir performs Ross Edwards’ beautiful Hymnus ante somnum (Hymn before sleep) in the second installment of its six week digital season.
The choir has enjoyed a close connection with the eminent Australian composer throughout its 46 years. Edwards has composed prolifically in most musical genres and continues to be sought after for new works. His music is concerned with questions of all humanity and at the same time strongly connected to Australia, both its people and natural environment.
Hymnus ante somnum (Hymn before sleep), is the fourth movement of Ross Edwards’ Ab Estatis Foribus – a set of 5 Latin songs commissioned for Sydney Chamber Choir by the choir’s founding music director, Nicholas Routley, and dedicated to him. The first of its many performances by the choir was in 1980 at Pearl Beach, a coastal retreat where Ross and his family lived for seven years and where his wife, Helen, organised concerts in the village hall.
This piece is of a setting of Hymnus ante somnum by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-c.405 AD), a meditation on the healing power of sleep. From the opening lines “Fluxit labor diei redit et quietis hora” (The day’s toil is past, the hour of rest comes again), the music soothes and gently rocks us like a lullaby. Many of the singers in this recording also performed this work in 2018 for Ross Edwards’ 75th birthday in the City Recital Hall and late in 2017 when we gathered around our supporters for the 2018 season launch, and Richard Gill’s announcement of Sam Allchurch as the ensemble’s new Artistic Director.
If you missed last week’s release, Nigel Butterley’s Morning Fanfare, or would just like to view it again, you can listen here.