Ubi Caritas

4 April 2015, 12:12

A modern choral hit courtesy of a young Norwegian composer

Very much following in the steps of Eric Whitacre and Paul Mealor, Gjeilo's Ubi Caritas has become a modern choral hit.

Choral music has a unique power to entrance the listener and Ola Gjeilo knows it. His deft, lyrical, even catchy melodies are beautifully obscured by crunchy harmonies and choral colour here, but at no point does it feel like Gjeilo is wilfully deceiving the listener.

He wrote Ubi Caritas back in 1999, after experiencing Duruflé's piece of the same name when he was a student. It stuck with him so much that he simply couldn't leave it alone: "I wanted to humbly try my own hand at this beautiful, timeless text." Humble his attempt may have been, but the results are superb.

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