Alcuin of York
A new choral piece by Huw entitled Porta Coeli was premiered on Tuesday the 18th of August at Westminster Abbey as the anthem during 5.00pm Evensong by the Hellenic Singers. The piece is based on the writing of Alcuin of York. It carries the following text and program note:
Latin Text – Alcuin of York (c.735 – 804)
Haec porta est coeli, aeternae haec est janua vitae,
Ista viatorem ducit ad astra suum.
Haec est sancta domus, pacis locus, aula salutis,
Quam super hic semper maneat benedictio Christi.
This is the gate of Heaven, this is the door of eternal life.
It leads its pilgrim to the stars.
This is the holy house, the place of peace, the hall of salvation,
For over it rests forever the blessing of Christ.
About Porta Coeli
Porta Coeli’s canonic opening and broad phrases are inspired by the ageless majesty of sacred space. In order to pursue timelessness; to seek a present communion with ancient building and former brethren; the piece borrows from the material and formal devices of the choral past. Simultaneously, it incorporates musical techniques of today. In evoking the ‘gate of heaven’ Porta Coeli heralds the past, the present, heaven and earth.