Locus iste

Last Sunday, I posted music from Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, which my sweety and I had heard during a virtual concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on a dinner and concert “date night out, at home.”

I explain in that post that four members of the WSO played the sacred motet, Locus iste (Latin for “this place”), by Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) in memory of a staff member who recently died.

Locus iste is the generic title for a piece of music used in a church’s dedication, and Bruckner’s setting of this form is one of the most famous examples. He composed his version in 1869, for unaccompanied mixed choir, to celebrate the first completed section of a new cathedral in Linz, Austria. The WSO quartet last weekend played an arrangement for trombones.

I searched for the different arrangements and found a lovely choral version by the Tenebrae Choir conducted by Nigel Short, filmed at the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, London, England. The other was a trombone quartet representing the WDR (or Westdeutscher Rundfunk) Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra of the West German Broadcasting Corporation at the WDR Funkhaus Wallrafplatz in Cologne, Germany.

Both versions are from early 2020; the choral performance is about two months before the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. The brass version is from spring 2020, perhaps after the implementation of lockdown, given the spacing of the musicians. Both performances are beautiful and contemplative; I find them both profoundly moving.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for choral performance from the Tenebrae Choir’s official YouTube channel:

And, the arrangement for trombone quartet, from the official WDR Klassik YouTube channel:

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