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Alison Willis
Alison Willis

28 February 2020 Comments Off on Alison Willis ‘Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum’ Premiere with Luminosa Voices Views: 512 CE News

Alison Willis ‘Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum’ Premiere with Luminosa Voices


Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum (An Easter Cantata) by Alison Willis will be premiered by Luminosa Voices under the direction of Rebekah Abbott in Hampshire on Saturday 28 March. The concert also features the second UK performance of Cecilia McDowall’s da Vinci Requiem and Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams with soloists Sarah Dacey (soprano) and Stuart Orme (Baritone). Cecilia McDowall will give a pre-concert talk.

Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, based on the spiritual poems of George Herbert (1593-1633) sparked Alison’s curiosity into an exploration of the works of female poets of the era whose voices have been silenced and therefore written out of history.

Alison Willis Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum, for Luminosa Voices

Salve Deus (for SATB Choir, Organ and Bell) sets extracts from the poem of the same name by Aemilia Lanyer, the first English woman to publish a collection of poetry under her own name in 1611. Some people think she may have been the Dark Lady referred to in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Alison is passionate about enabling women’s voices to be heard, especially those that history has overlooked and has found great inspiration in Lanyer’s beautiful imagery. Salve Deus is regarded as a feminine take on the Passion of Christ and this setting expands the verse from Matthew 27.19 where Pilate’s wife attempts to dissuade her husband from ordering Christ’s death. The soprano soloist, (by implication Pilate’s wife), acts as narrator and commentator as the Passion develops.

The piece consists of five short movements combining to create a full work of approximately twenty minutes in length. Each movement can also function as a standalone piece in the hope that the music may be used liturgically as well as in performance.

Composers Edition is proud to present a range of works by Alison Willis available for purchase through our website, to which Salve Deus will be added in due course.

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