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Media Vita (2007-8) for string orchestra

Categories chamber orchestra, Druskomanija, Lithuania, music for strings


I wrote this piece originally for the Southampton University Strings in 2007-8. I remember clearly finishing the manuscript at my parents’ house in Mwnt, Ceredigion, at around 10pm on New Year’s Eve of 2007.

The name comes from an Ambrosian plainsong, “media vita in morte sumus”, “in the midst of life we are in death”. I use the melody of this plainsong in different guises throughout the piece.

These two performances by the wonderful St Christopher Chamber Orchestra took place at the 2011 Druskomanija Festival in Lithuania. The first recording took place in the tranquil and beautiful rural town of Druskininkai at the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary on 28th May, and the second recording took place at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius on 23rd May. I’ve uploaded both performances, as I think the comparison between the two is interesting. The second recording has less background noise, but I feel the first recording is more expressive, in spite of the terrible background noise from the audience walking in and out of the church!