Exsultet - österlicher Lichtdank (Exsultet - Easter Light Thanksgiving)
„But I know that the light is there, that he has risen, that his light is stronger than all that is dark, that the Lord’s benevolence is stronger than all the evil in the world.“
– Benedict XVI.
Exsultet – Easter Light Thanksgiving is devoted to the Holy Father emeritus Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The liturgic composition wants to build a musically reflected bridge in the solemn Easter Vigil between the exsultet, sung between a priest or a deacon and the readings, which are always to be heard responsively with sung psalms.
The exsultet is one of the oldest liturgical texts of the world church and of high poetic speech quality. In my scoring, I have chosen a selection of texts from the Latin original text, which present the praising of the light in a compact form. By means of the Easter refrain “Rejoice, ye land, the Lord”, the congregation are involved in this composition in the German middle part with responsive singing, very much in the spirit of the required participatio actuosa by the second Vatican Council. At a concerting performance it is also possible to let the middle part of the congregation be sung by female voices of the choir.
Musically, Exsultet – Easter Light Thanksgiving is a journey through time taking one through compositional techniques from the grouping of two and three Gregorian neumes to organ techniques from the Middle Ages via modern sound surfaces and jazzy rhythms of our present as well as on a world tour through typical sound characteristics in music of all continents. In that sense, the four-part choir stands for the European occident, the marimba represents Africa, the Latin percussion instruments symbolise America and the organ provides a musical bow by using long pedal points, thereby referring to the Australian didgeridoo, and finally, with Oriental Arabesques, alluding to Asian music: “…all ends of the earth are looking for God’s salvation.”
With this composition, I bow to Benedict XVI life’s work and wish the jubilarian a peaceful and happy feast and an illuminated future.
„I listened to your “Exsultet” with happiness and gratitude and let the sparks of the Easter light, which spring from your composition, take me in.“
– Benedict XVI. about "Exsultet - Easter Light Thanksgiving"