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The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

(2005) duration ca. 25 minutes, commissioned by Frances Marie Uitti through generosity of the Canada Council.

In December 2004, I visited Bernini's The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa at the Cornaro Chapel, Sta. Maria della Vittoria, Rome. The statue depicts Saint Teresa of Avilla's first "rapture", a physical and spiritual communion with Christ. In her autobiography, Teresa describes an angel armed with a fire-tipped spear who came to her while she was singing "Veni Creator Spiritus". I was attracted by the physicality of her description, and translated and adapted this selection along with two other episodes from her life, setting them between longer sections of music for solo 'cello. The chants are based on sources from the Liber Usualis. The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa was written especially for Frances Marie Uitti, to whom it is dedicated.

- Rodney Sharman