OLA GJEILO: Unicornis Captivatur for choir a cappella, SATB.
Unicornis Captivatur was written in 2001 and premiered by the Norwegian Academy of Music Chamber Choir and conductor Grete Pedersen in March that year. It’s one of those pieces that are not written for any kind of occasion or commission, but are simply born out from the inspiration of a particular text that lights a spark in a composer’s heart. The text is part of a compilation of medieval chants called the Engelberg Codex, belonging to the Engelberg monastery in Switzerland. The collection was completed around 1400. I was greatly inspired by the colorful and powerful symbolism and just the sheer drama, joy and sense of triumph that the text exudes.
Thanks to Grete Pedersen for a wonderful premiere performance and a fantastic recording made with the World Youth Choir in 2003. Also thanks to Tore Erik Mohn and the Oslo Philharmonic Choir for their continued advocacy of the piece and a wonderful recording due to be released in November, 2006. Unicornis Captivatur is dedicated to Grete Pedersen.
The premiere recording of Unicornis Captivatur performed by the World Youth Choir and conducted by Grete Pedersen is available through the World Youth Choir website, www.worldyouthchoir.org. A new recording made by the Oslo Philharmonic Choir and conductor Tore Eirik Mohn on the MTG Music label will be available in stores from Nov. 6, 2006. It can also be ordered online through www.mtg.musikkonline.no
Listen to Unicornis Captivatur and find more information about the music of Ola Gjeilo at www.olagjeilo.com.