Tenor, 2 soprani, choir and organ
Duration : 23’
First performance on 4th october 1998 in Toulouse at the festival “Toulouse-les-orgues” by Cécile Dibon, Isabelle Poulenard, François-Nicolas Geslot, Véronique Le Guen and the chamber choir “Les Eléments” directed by Joël Suhubiette.
Claudio Monteverdi used it in his Vespers and handled the echo by a tenor voice repeating the sentence’s ends of the soloist, also a tenor.
I preferred to give this echo – in other words the celestial answer to the prayer of the initial voice (here always a tenor) – to two sopranos. This duet of feminine voices extend the repetition of the syllables and strengthens, by the contrast of timber, the magic and immaterial aspect of this divine answer. When Marie’s name is prononced, the echo extend to the organ and the four voices of the choir.
Audi cœlum, verba mea,
plena desiderio et perfusa gaudio. Eco : Audio!
Dic, quaeso, mihi :
Quae est ista, quae consurgens
ut aurora rutilat ut benedicam ? Eco : Dicam !
Dic nam ista pulchra ut luna, electa
ut sol, replet laetitia
terras, coelos, maria ? Eco : Maria !
Maria Virgo illa dulcis, praedicata de propheta Ezechiel
porta Orientalis ? Eco : Talis !
Illa sacra et felix porta per quam mors fuit expulsa,
introduxit autem vita ? Eco : Ita !
Quae semper tutum est medium
inter homines et Deum,
pro culpis remedium. Eco : Medium !
Omnes hanc ergo sequamur,
qua cum gratia mereamur
vitam aeternam consequamur. Eco : Sequamur !
Praestet nobis Deus,
Pater hoc et Filius, et Mater
cuius nomen invocamus dulce
miseris solamen. Eco : Amen !
Benedicta es, virgo Maria, in saeculorum saecula.
Hear, O heaven, my words full of longing and suffused with joy.
Echo: I hear!
I beseech you,
tell me who is she that rises up, bright as the dawn, and I shall bless her.
Echo: I shall tell you!
Say if this lady, lovely as the mon and glorious as the sun, fills with gladness the earth, heavens and seas.
That sweet virgin Mary,
foretold by the prophet Ezechiel, that eastern gate,
Echo: The same!
that sacred and joyful portal through which death was expelled and life renewed;
who is always a trusted mediator between God and man for the forgiveness of sins.
Echo: a mediator!
Let us all therefore follow her, through whom we may with grace deserve to attain life everlasting.
Echo: let us follow!
May God the Father,
and the Son, and the mother whose sweet name we invoke, grant solace to the afflicted.
Blessed art thou, virgin Mary, for ever and ever.