Margaret Rizza: Officium Divinum
£5.99 – £9.99
About this release
The is an album of contemplative sacred choral music (with instruments) by the British composer, Margaret Rizza, includes music for the four periods of daily prayer: Morning, Midday, Evening and Night Prayer from the ‘Common Worship, Daily Prayer’. The scores are published by the Royal School of Church Music.
The sixteen pieces on this CD are made up of four choral pieces with organ, two ‘a cappella’ pieces and ten choral pieces with organ and instrumental accompaniment.
Morning Prayer begins with The Night Has Passed. It expresses the dawn which awakens us, inviting us to pray in thanksgiving with one heart and mind. It becomes celebratory as we rejoice in the gift of another new day. Read more
The second piece for Morning Prayer is an unaccompanied choral piece, Open Thou Mine Eyes. These moving words express the desire that our eyes be opened to see beyond the temporal things of this world, that our hearts be inclined towards the desire for God, and that our steps walk in the ways of His commandments.
The third piece for Morning Prayer is Dedication, with words by David Adam. This is a simple choral piece with instrumental interludes. These lovely words invite us to dedicate ourselves each day to the Lord with our minds and our thinking, with the work that we do, with our body and its actions, and above all, that we give ourselves to each new day with our hearts and our loving.
The last piece for Morning Prayer is The Song Of Zechariah (Benedictus) with words taken from Luke1: 69-79 adapted by Anne Harrison. This is a celebratory choral piece with organ and begins with a refrain in Latin, ‘Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel’—‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.’ This is the moment when after nine months of losing his power of speech, Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit proclaims with an outburst of praise and gratitude this revelation. The first refrain leads to a traditional song of praise, the second, to a reflection on God’s promise to set his people free. And the third refrain returns to the opening song of praise with an overarching soprano descant leading to the ending doxology.
Midday Prayer begins with Blessed Bread, a Eucharistic choral chant with soprano descant and variations for violin and cello. As with any chant, this one can be used in any way to suit the particular time needed for the time of communion. It can be prayed in its entirety or can simply be sung even without using the instruments for the variations. The mystery of the Eucharist is embodied in the words: ‘Blessed bread, everlasting life. Sacred cup, eternal salvation.’, the chant being a reflection on the mystery of The Cross.
The second piece for Mid