Hodie initium

Composed by Dwight Bigler
Series Editor: Larry Wyatt
Voicing: SATB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0990
Price: $2.20

The Hodie initium text was introduced to me by Bryson Mortensen, the director of the Festival Choir of Madison. It is a hymnitroparion used to celebrate the Annunciation to the Theotokos (Mary, mother of Jesus) in the Greek Orthodox Church. The original version of the text is in Greek. The version we found was an English translation, which we then translated to Latin. The English translation is as follows:

Today is the beginning of our salvation

And the revelation of the eternal mystery!

The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin

As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.

Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:

“Rejoice, 0 Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!”

While composing this work, I wanted to capture the excitement expressed in the text. The first line begins with such forward flow as the speaker realizes something great has happened that will have a tremendous impact on the future. It also implies that the speaker has been waiting for this event with great anticipation. Each of us have experienced some level of relief at the fulfillment of an anticipated resolution, especially when the resolution impacts more than the moment. The final lines of the text invite all to join in the celebration.

Dwight Bigler

recording performed by University of South Carolina Concert Choir
Columbia, South Carolina
Larry Wyatt, director

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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