Kyrie Eleison

Composed by Ivo Antognini
Voicing: SA
Instrumentation: piano
Catalog number: AMP 0928
Price: $1.80

“Kyrie Eleison” is a tribute to J.S. Bach, who is probably one of the most
transcendental composers that has ever existed. His music has an extraordinary
power over me. It transports me to the center of the universe, and is both calming
and energizing. Bach's music gives me joy and touches me deeply.

I wrote this piece during a very difficult time in my life. I was 21 years old, and
was going through an existential crisis.

One evening, I entered our town church, sat down at the organ, and began to
improvise. As tears streamed down my face, the notes of this Kyrie Eleison

I wrote a version for piano that remained in my repertoire for years, and I decided
to convert it into a piece for SATB choir. It was sung on a few occasions by
church choirs, but then it seemed to disappear. It always stayed in my memory,
and every now and again I played it, alone, at the piano.

In 2008, I transcribed it for two equal voices and keyboard, and gave it to my dear
friend Mario Fontana, the director of Coro Calicantus, of which I am the

In 2012, to my great surprise, Mario's choir performed it during a concert at the
Saint–Théodule de Gruyères church in Switzerland.

I didn't even know that they had learned my Kyrie! It was a very emotional
moment: to listen to this piece after so many years. It was difficult to hold back

Possible performance variations:

  1. Make slight differences in phrasing between the first and second time.

  2. The first time, sung by a small group (i.e. 4 sopranos, 4 altos) - the second
    time, sung by everyone.

  3. The first time, sung by the altos – the second time, sung by everyone.

  4. The first time, sung by a small group of sopranos (or a soloist), with the
    alto part played by a violin, viola or cello.

Ivo Antognini

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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