Benjamin Williams

Corporis Mysterium (2011)

Corporis Mysterium is my first piece written for the Mississippi College Symphonic Winds, directed by Craig Young. We began with the simple idea to collaborate for a performance in the Spring of 2011. As I began putting my ideas together for the piece, Craig mentioned that the band would be performing at a church around the time of Easter.

The two themes of this piece are traditional melodies of the Church that relate to the Passion of Christ. Pange lingua—the majestic first theme—is a chant written by St. Thomas Aquinas commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus. The slower middle section is based on the hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded as composed by Hans Leo Hassler. In these two pieces come a vivid image of the mystery that is God made flesh.

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