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Mysterium

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Jannifer Higdon

Jennifer Higdon


General Info

Year: 2002 / 2011
Duration: c. 6:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: SATB chorus, two flutes and two crystal glasses
Publisher: Jennifer Higdon
Cost: Score and Parts - $375.00   |   Score Only - $55.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Chimes
  • Vibraphone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Mysterium is Higdon’s own arrangement of her sacred choral work O Magnum Mysterium for wind ensemble. The original work was reviewed in the Main Line Times:

Jennifer Higdon has become one of the most sought-after up-and-coming composers in America. She has responded to that position as well as her growing acclaim by composing music that is both challenging and accessible. Her O Magnum Mysterium is a clever setting in both Latin and English of the traditional text that marvels at the birth of the Saviour... the music is harmonically original yet compellingly comprehensible, perhaps.

- Program Note from University of Texas Symphony Band concert program, 10 April 2019


Mysterium was commissioned by Scott Stewart (Emory University Wind Ensemble) and Scott Weiss (University of South Carolina Band). Higdon writes of Mysterium "...is a tribute to the wonderful mystery of how music moves us. Perhaps it is the unexplainable that creates such magic, for both the performer and the listener, but there is no denying the incredible power of a shared musical experience.”

- Program note by Florida State University Wind Orchestra concert program, 7 March 2013


The flute descants, chimes, and crystal glasses play prominent roles in both works. According to Jennifer Higdon, her compositional style utilizes a combination of melody and rhythm that reflect “our spoken language.” The phrasing of the wind version is informed by the text of the original choral setting, which is first heard in Latin and then shifts to English. To emphasize the importance of the text, Higdon set the English translation in simple monorhythmic recitations, which form the basis for the middle section of the wind setting.

- University of North Texas Wind Ensemble concert program, 8 October 2019


Media

(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Darla McBryde, conductor) – 31 March 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Southwestern Conference, Waco, Tx.)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles) Thornton Wind Ensemble (Gregory X. Whitmore, conductor) - 11 February 2022
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Wind Ensemble (Glenn Hayes, conductor) - 25 November 2020
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Symphonic Band (Stephanie DeLuca, conductor) - 16 November 2020
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Joshua Donnelly, conductor) - 13 October 2020
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Wind Ensemble (Derek Shapiro, conductor) – 1 March 2020
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Donald J. McKinney, conductor) – 28 February 2020
  • James Logan High School (Union City, Calif.) Wind Symphony (Adam Wilke, conductor) - 21 February 2020 (2020 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • University of Missouri–Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 20 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 14 February 2020
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Preston Weber, conductor) – 11 December 2019
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Christopher C. Chapman, conductor) – 26 November 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 26 November 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony C. Marinello, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • San Jose (Calif.) State University Wind Symphony (Craig McKenzie, conductor) – 12 April 2019 (2019 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor; Zoe Cagan & Cameron Massey, flute) – 10 April 2019
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Concert Band (Joshua Roach, conductor; Gabrielle Caviglia and Aaron Leach, flute) – 14 November 2018
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Robblee, conductor) - 10 November 2018
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 19 October 2018


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

  • Higdon, J. (2011). Mysterium [score]. Lawdon Press: Philadelphia, Penn.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 354.
  • Moss, Emily. "Mysterium." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 580-587. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.