PUER NATUS EST
2014PUER NATUS ESTfor mixed choir "a cappella" SATB | 5'ca.Commissioned: by choral conductor Daniel Mestre
This choral piece is constructed based on the roots of the monophonic Gregorian Chant (horizontal single melodic line) with the harmonization through homorhythmic block-chords (vertical four-part choral notes). The specific intention of this work is to explore the balance or equilibrium between the two concepts, the vertical and horizontal writing, the melodic and harmonic writing, as well as the exploration of the spatial context through the use of the register of voices (texture and harmonic density) and the search for color and luminosity (with the use of the Chiaroscuro technique, this is the contrast between light and dark). The utilization of the monophonic melodic texture of the original Gregorian chant, with its horizontal single line, is here presented interlined with the homorhythmic chordal texture of the vertical block chords.
The piece alternates the traditional Gregorian chant version of the melody (taken from the Liber Usualis, p.408.) which in this case is sang by two soloists, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano) while the four-part choir sings a series of block-chords being its notes derived from the mathematical characteristics of a pan-magic 4x4 Magic Square. The pan-magic 4x4 magic square used appeared in 1514. Albrecht Dürer (German artist 1471-1528) created an engraving titled Melancholia that includes this specific magic square. In the bottom row of his magic square one can see that he placed the numbers "15" and "14" side by side to reveal the date of this work.
In magic squares, each row and each column and each diagonal adds up to the same number, in this case 34. There are 14 possible combinations from this pan-magic square that can be transformed in sets of four notes, tetrachords once we assign a note of the chromatic scale to a number. The internal structure and distribution of the different sets culminate with the AMEN, that shapes the figure of the cross. So, as it happens with the engraving Master piece by Albrecht Dürer, this piece is highly symbolic.
PUER NATUS EST
Puer natus est nobis
Et filius datus est nobis
Cuius imperium super humerum eius
Et vocabitur nomen eius
Magni consilii Angelus
Cantate Domino canticum novum
Quia mirabilia fecit
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
in secula seculorum. Amen.
Albert CARBONELL - PUER NATUS EST [for SATB mixed choir].pdf