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This piece for double choir (which has a companion Ave maris stella devised for separate performance) is grounded in traditional harmonic progression. An astonishing build-up of devotional intensity is achieved with near-exclusive reference to the notes of the G major diatonic scale. At the pinnacle of the piece an electrifying F natural is introduced, which, in combination with an A minor triad, replicates the climactic chord from the development section of the opening movement of Beethoven's 3rd (“Eroica”) Symphony. The “Eroica chord” has iconic status in Polish music, playing a major role in the final movement of Górecki's famed Symphony No. 3 (the “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”).
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Series: Music Sales America