This YouTube clip of Domine Jesu contains both movements of the Offertorium - Domine Jesu and Hostias
Young Women's Chamber Choir 2018 - 2019
Spring Shall Bloom
by Susan LaBarr
Méditations de la Vierge Marie
by Marie-Claire Saindon
Méditations de la Vierge Marie, originally written for a Christmas concert which focused on the Virgin Mary, is a triptych portraying different thought processes that one could imagine the Holy Mother going through once she's learned of her new saintly role. Originally set for women's voices and a string quartet, the songs are simple, yet evocative.
The first movement, L'annonce, sets a text by Albert Lozier, who mused at how a young woman – practically still a girl – would think about God's plan for her, what she had previously hoped for in life, and how she herself plans to follow through with her new role. A very direct text, the music supporting it is a simple melody with simple harmonies – one could even say of a pastoral colour.
The second movement, Le secret de Dieu (text by Hélène Harbec), is a little more introspective in nature. Whispering voices open the movement, setting the mood for the first statement “Si je parvenais à connaître [...] le secret de Dieu, je n'en soufflerais mot par simple humilité” (“Even if I were to understand […] the secret of God, I would not breathe a word out of humility”). However, she catches herself, and decides these are not the right thoughts to have. And so she begins again: “Si je parvenais à connaître [...] le secret de Dieu, je dirais tout par amour” (“If I were to understand […] the secret of God, I would tell everything out of love”). The music reflects both statements: the first, introspective, humble, quite hidden – the second, the orchestration opens up to reflect the sharing of the secret to all, for the sake of love.
The third movement, Merci mon Maître (text by Albert Belzile), sets the speaker (in this case, one can easily imagine the Virgin Mary) talking directly to God, and trying to explain with how many ways one could express thanks for this Master that loves us unconditionally. The first part of the movement follows the text in its imagery: “Je veux te dire merci en psaumes, en langues, en fleurs sauvages, en météores lointains, en méduses célestes ...” (“I would like to tell Thee [thank you] in psalms, tongues, wild flowers, distant meteores, celestial tendrils ...”). We then come to a halt when the Virgin Mary realizes that words are far too limited to express in detail how to thank the Lord. And so, she simply says thank you – for loving us with an eternal love. There, the music opens up gradually to imitate this eternity, and finishes off simply with a last “Thank you”.