Hail, Gladdening Light was written at the request of Matthew Owens for the choir of Wells Cathedral and was first performed at Candlemas 2006. The composer has long been an admirer of the setting by Charles Wood and so wanted to create a work with a completely different atmosphere, particularly focusing on mystical light. The opening and closing sections make use of the Gregorian Chant for Candlemas - a troped setting of the Nunc dimittis. Where these chanted sections occur they should be unconducted and sung with the freedom and tempo of plainsong. The emphasis throughout the whole piece should be on luminosity.
This piece is from Faber's Choral Signature Series which introduces a wealth of new or recently written choral music to choirs in search of fresh repertoire. the series draws in a rich diversity of living composers and includes both lighter and more challenging contemporary works, offering a thrilling array of varied styles.