University Singers of the University of Bristol perform David Bednall’s Hail, Gladdening Light (2006) with the composer conducting–a prelude to the choir’s participation in a UK Premiere following the main festival involving students from the University of Bristol and the wider community.
Hail, gladdening Light was written for Candlemas 2006. The proper chant for the day – a troped Nunc Dimittis in Latin – is sung by the tenors in free time while the sopranos and altos sing the English words of Keble’s poem. After a passage of canonic ostinatos the piece concludes with an aleatoric Amen – the singers are given a series of notes on which to improvise, creating a shimmering harmonic field. The emphasis throughout the whole piece is on luminosity.
Performed on the Wills Building Staircase at Bristol University