This beautiful settingof the “Phos hilaron” is influenced by both hymn writing and chant. The flexibility of meter supports the flow of the text and the sudden expansions of texture underscore the climactic moments. The rise in the melody at the opening reflects our looking up at the light of Christ and at the “setting of the sun.” The vocal writing is challenging, yet this piece is most graciously written for choirs experienced with ‘a cappella’ singing.
From the Composer:
My newer pieces with Paraclete came into being under circumstances considerably different from those of some of my earlier publications. Both O gracious light and the Annunciation Carol owe their creation to the sweeping expanses of the Atlantic Ocean. Quite the opposite atmosphere of a noisy train or car, these were composed in the stillness of the afternoon while gazing out at the water from two different and isolated locations on the northern Atlantic coast all in all a situation far more conducive to creative thought!