This past week I received a wonderful phone call from a listener who thoroughly enjoyed Morton Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna. It's his favorite, and he finds it to be truly inspiring. He's not alone. The recording I played was the premiere recording made by the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the direction of Paul Salamunovich, which is the group Lauridsen wrote it for when he was composer-in-residence for the LAMC. But there are other wonderful recordings that Lauridsen himself likes, too. When he was here last year we had a chance to chat in the studio, and he told me he also likes the recordings made by Polyphony and Voce, so if you're looking for a good recording for your own collection, it's hard to pass up those with Lauridsen's own stamp of approval!


 

A rare photograph from 1863 of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
I'm looking forward to this week's program on November 24, not just because of all the music for St. Cecilia (the patron saint of music) and works by Benjamin Britten (this is his centenary - born on November 22, 1913, coincidentally on the Feast Day of St. Cecilia), but also because of a brand new work written for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We were able to get special permission to broadcast the recording of the world premiere. It's called Letters from Gettysburgby Avner Dorman, setting text from letters written by 1st Lieutenant Rush P. Cady, Company K, 97th New York Infantry, as well as a letter by his mother. It's a thought-provoking work, from the point of view of a soldier in the Civil War. 
 
You can't get a recording of the work yet, but I'm hoping sometime soon that a commercial professional recording comes out and we can revisit the piece. It was commissioned by Gettysburg College, the Sesquicentennial Committee, the Civil War Institute, and the President's Office, performed by the Gettysburg College Choir, Concert Choir and Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Robert Natter. I hope you get a chance to hear it!