Queen of Heaven

piano and electronics
commissioned by pianist Kari Johnson
premiered by Kari Johnson, April 2011 at Unity Temple in Kansas City, MO
Duration: c.25 minutes

I. Hail, Holy Queen! (Angelic greeting of the Mother of God)
II. Full-of-Grace (Kecharitomene)
III. The Unburnt Bush
IV. The-One-Who-Gives-Birth-to-God (Theotokos)
V. The Woman Clothed with the Sun
Please contact the composer for the most recent software files.

Recording available from Irritable Hedgehog Music:

Program notes:
Queen of Heaven is a large-scale composition for piano and electronics, cast as five meditations on the Virgin Mary. Each of the five movements is set in musical materials that both subjectively and symbolically express the composer’s study and experience of scriptural, liturgical and iconographic sources relating to different aspects of her unique place in Christian theology.
The first movement, “Hail, Holy Queen,” imagines the greeting of the Virgin by the hosts of angels, in enormous, sonorous and terrifying voices. The second and fourth movements each take their inspiration from titles for Mary: “Full-of-Grace” from kecharitomene, the Greek word of greeting spoken by the Archangel Gabriel in Luke 1:28; and “The-One-Who-Gives-Birth-To-God” from Theotokos, an ancient liturgical and devotional epithet. These two are divided by “The Unburnt Bush,” based on iconographic and liturgical sources that celebrate the prefiguration of the Virgin in the burning bush of Exodus. The fifth and final movement returns to the heavenly setting of the first, drawing its imagery from Revelation 12: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Queen of Heaven
was commissioned by pianist Kari Johnson, and is dedicated to the Most Holy God-Bearer and Ever-Virgin Mary.

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