A  c a p p e l l a

Hong’s CD release Stella Maris on the ECM New Series (ECM 1929), performed by the vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval, received critical acclaim and reached the top ten on the Billboard Classical Chart and Itunes classics. Since it was released, her Missa Lumen de Lumine has been performed by Trio Mediaeval in over 60 cities around the world, at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival (2017: Indianapolis/USA), Sommerlichen Musiktage Hitzacker Festival (2016: Hitzacker/Germany), Edinburgh Booking Dance Festival (2012: Edinburgh/UK), Kirchenmusik wochen in Neuss (2011: Neuss/Germany), The Oslo Chamber Music Festival (2011: Oslo/Norway), the Boston Early Music Festival (2007: Boston/USA), the San Francisco International Arts Festival (2007: San Francisco/USA), the International Music Festival Bath (2007: Bath/UK), the Bergen International Festival (2007: Bergen/Norway), the Festival International de Musiques Sacrées (2006: Fribourg/Switzerland), Gernrode MDR Musiksommer (2006: Romanische Kirchen/Germany), the David Oistfest Festival (2006: Parnu/Estonia), the Ettiswil Festival (2006: Ettiswil/Switzerland), the Kuoroespoo International Choral Espoo Esbo Körfestival (2006: Espoo/Finland), the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (2005: Oslo/Norway), the Venice Music Festival (2005: Venice/Italy), and others.

Sungji has been working with Ensemble Créations [director. Yeomyoung Lim, Marseille/France] The BBC Singers [London/UK], The Choir of the Temple Church [director. Stephen Layton, London/UK], Dulciana Vocal Ensemble [director. Eoghan Desmond, Dublin/Ireland], Voces Inauditae [director. Caroline Lesemann-Elliott, Edinburgh/Scotland], Aella [Ottawa/Canada], Volti Chamber Choir [director. Robert Geary, CA/USA], Seattle Pro Musica [director. Karen P. Thomas, WA/USA], Renaissance Voices [director. G. Kevin Dewey, MI/USA], Con Spirito [director. G. Kevin Dewey, MI/USA], The New York Virtuoso Singers [director. Harold Rosenbaum, NY/USA], Vox Vocal Ensemble [director. George Steel, NY/USA], Lorelei Ensemble [director. Beth Willer, MA/USA], Trio Artemisia [IL/USA], Ensemble Vocal Omnia Cantore [Mexico city/Mexico], Seoul motet choir [director. Chiyong Park, Seoul/Korea], and Trio Mediaeval [Oslo/Norway].

List of Works   https://www.sungjihong.com/compositions

Postea sciens Jesus is a setting of the book of John. It explores various vocal tessitura and textures. It is written for voices alone and is scored for mixed voices.

The duration of the piece is 5 minutes and 30 seconds. It was composed during the autumn of 2016. Postea sciens Jesus was first performed by Voces Inauditae under the direction of Caroline Lesemann-Elliott at the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Edinburgh, Scotland on 19 May 2018.

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Performed by: Ensemble Créations 

Conductor: Yeomyoung Lim

Place: La Cathedrale Souterraine, Saint-Martin de Pallières/France.

Date: September 6, 2019

 

The ‘Psalm of the Shepherd’ (Psalm 23) represents God as a protector, provider and source of comfort for all human beings. It is a text which speaks about hope, care, compassion and the unconditional love of God. 

This a cappella piece is scored for mixed unaccompanied voices (SATB) and was composed during the spring of 2007 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Lord is my Shepherd was commissioned by the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music and was first performed by The New York Virtuoso Singers under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum at the 4th Universalist Society in New York.

The Lord is my Shepherd is dedicated to my mother.

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Choir: The New York Virtuoso Singers
Conductor: Harold Rosenbaum 
Place: The 4th Universalist Society, New York/USA.
Date: 27 April 2008

 

The text of the piece is from an anonymous hymn of the 10th century. It is written for voices alone and is scored for three female voices. In the piece, polyphonic writing is often followed by homophony in various tempi and moods.

The duration of the piece is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. It was composed during the summer of 2015. O nata lux is written for trio Artemisia.

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Performed by: Dulciana Vocal Ensemble

Conductor: Eoghan Desmond

Place: Freemasons' Hall, Dublin/Ireland.

Date: 24 October 2016

 

Ficus enim non florebit

2013, 7 mins - for three female voices (SSA)

Hong displays both purity and discord though stark unisons and open sonorities, juxtaposed with thick parallel dissonance. She chooses to set the opening description of poverty and loss with austere and patient homophony. It is not until the speaker rejoices (“Ego autem in Domino…”) that the three- part texture thickens to four unsettled voices, sliding in labored parallel augmented triads, tritons and minor seconds. This ironic setting poignantly wrings the earthly nature out of this text.

-Beth Willer

 

Ficus enim non florebit was commissioned by Lorelei Ensemble. It was received its first performance on May 23, 2014 by Lorelei Ensemble under the direction of Beth Willer at the Memorial Church, Harvard University in Boston.

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Performed by:
Aella Choir

Conductor: Jennifer Berntson

Place: First Baptist Church, Ottawa/Canada

Date: 2 March 2019

 

Emendemus in melius opens with long melismatic phrases of ‘emendemus in melius’ (Let us atone for the sins). It moves to quiet choral implorations which of harmonies create a serene atmosphere. A dramatic climax leads the piece to the end for the words ‘libera nos’ (deliver us).

The work begins as a very personal, introspective "prayer", and progresses through a series of variations culminating in what can best be described as resounding exclamations of pure religious ecstasy. Emendemus in melius is in eight parts and the text is from the Tridentine Matins on the first Sunday of Lent.

 

The piece was received its first performance on 2 February 2005 by the Choir of the Temple Church under the direction of Stephen Layton.

Emendemus in melius was awarded to the First Prize at The Temple Music Composition Prize in 2004.

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Performed by: Ensemble Créations 

Conductor: Yeomyoung Lim

Place: La Cathedrale Souterraine, Saint-Martin de Pallières/France.

Date: September 6, 2019

 

Pater Noster

2004, 12 mins - for mixed voices (SATB)

This a cappella piece is scored for mixed unaccompanied voices (SABT). Pater Noster was commissioned by MATA Festival. The piece was received its first performance on 15 May 2004 by Vox Vocal Ensemble under the direction of George Steel at the St. Peter's Church in New York.

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Choir: Renaissance Voices & Con Spirito

Conductor: G. Kevin Dewey

Place: North Congregational Church, Farmington Hills (MI)/USA.

Date: 10 June 2007

 

Track Name
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Agnus Dei

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Performed by: Trio Mediaeval, Grammy Award winners

Stella Maris - ECM Record (1929 476 3021)

Recording producer: John Potter (Former Hilliard Ensemble Tenor)

Engineer: Peter Laenger

February 2005 at the monastery of Propstei St. Gerold in Austria

Hong’s CD release Stella Maris on the ECM New Series (ECM 1929), performed by the vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval, received critical acclaim and reached the top ten on the Billboard Classical Chart and Itunes classics. Since it was released, her Missa Lumen de Lumine has been performed by Trio Mediaeval in over 60 cities around the world, at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Sommerlichen Musiktage Hitzacker Festival, Edinburgh Booking Dance Festival, Kirchenmusik wochen in Neuss, The Oslo Chamber Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the San Francisco International Arts Festival, the International Music Festival Bath, the Bergen International Festivalthe Festival International de Musiques Sacrées, Gernrode MDR Musiksommer, the David Oistfest Festival, the Ettiswil Festival, the Kuoroespoo International Choral Espoo Esbo Körfestival, the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, the Venice Music Festival, and others.

Trio Mediaeval’s sound world is fully authentic for Sungji Hong’s Mass Lumen de Lumine, written for the Trio. Lumen de Lumine creates exquisite sonorities by exploring different vocal tessituras and textures.

Nicky Losseff

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2019 by Sungji Hong