Laudes Creaturarum (Rosaria, Danielle)

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Publisher. Info. Danielle Rosaria, 2019.
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General Information

Work Title Laudes Creaturarum
Alternative. Title Il Cantico delle Creature�
Composer Rosaria, Danielle
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IDR 21
Key D minor
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 2019
First Performance. 2019
First Publication. 2019
Librettist Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Language Italian
Dedication Dedicated to the Glory of God
Average DurationAvg. Duration 3 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Medieval
Instrumentation soprano

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St Francis was a joyful, peaceful saint who saw the beauty of God all around him in God's creation. Born in 1181 to a rich merchant in the hill town of Assisi, St Francis later gave up all his wealth to become a poor friar and dedicate his life to pray, love of God, and service to others. The founder of the Friars Minor, St Francis lead a very austere life and preached about giving up material wealth to make place for God's life within the soul. This beautiful poem prayer shows St Francis' way of praying to God through the contemplation of His beautiful creation. This creation was as it were a way God spoke to Francis of His love for him and also His great majesty. St Francis was so closely identified with Christ and His sufferings that he was given the Stigmata, the miraculous wounds of Christ. This poem was written in 1224, two years before the saint's death in 1226.

Notes for premier of the piece in March, 2019 at Chapman University by the composer, Danielle Rosaria, 2019

Setting Laudes Creaturarum to music is a humbling honor for me. It is the first time I have ever worked with the Italian language even though my entire family on my mother's side comes from southern Italy. In a way it's like returning to a kind of "home." The author of the text is St. Francis, my patron saint because of his love for nature and for peace. These loves come through strongly in this prayer poem written in 1224.

I had the privilege of working with music major and Italian student Sophia Vidali from Chapman University. Sophia is soprano as well, so I was able to “talk music” with her and share my ideas about setting this poem. She also told me how to tell if the text is in archaic Italian and gave me recordings of the proper pronunciation. Because of her, I knew I was setting the authentic 13th century text. I also was very fortunate in having several conversations with soprano Cassandra Venaglia who will be performing the piece for you tonight. Cassandra was able to work with me on several aspects of the piece so that I could hone in on the idiosyncrasies of the Italian language. I could never have completed this project to the degree I was able to without the help of these two women. I am very grateful to both of them.

For me, the setting of Laudes Creaturarum to music was like being in a calm place surrounded by a storm. I am the mother and home educator of two very young children. Their vibrant energy and curiosity keeps me continually finding ways to care for them, teach them language, and have also have fun in the process. Every day is full. The composition of Laudes Creaturarum took place every single night as soon as my babies were asleep during the golden moments of the quiet evening. Then I could sit back and, by meditating on the words of St Francis, think about the beauty of the words the Creator speaks to us through nature.