Creator of the Stars of Night

Creator of the Stars of Night (An Advent Anthem for SATB Chorus and Organ) was composed in January 2011. Approximately six minutes in length, it is based on a ninth century text, Conditor alme siderum. Throughout the years these words have often been attributed to St. Ambrose, but there is little proof of this attribution. Though slightly altered, the English translation used here was created in the 19th century by John Mason Neale.

In my Creator of the Stars of Night, I have used as a structural device for the plainsong melody most often associated with this text (and, quite likely, original to the text). The plainsong melody is heard complete only in the final section of the composition. Another plainsong melody long associated with a well-known Advent text, Picardy (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence), is also woven into the organ throughout the anthem.

In Creator of the Stars of Night I have sought to create an anthem that captures the mystery and anticipation, as well as beauty, of the Season of Advent.

Dan Locklair
Winston-Salem, NC
May 2011

Creator of the stars of night,
Your people’s everlasting light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
We pray you hear us when we call.

In sorrow that the ancient curse
Should doom to death a universe,
You came, O Savior, to set free
Your own in glorious liberty.

When this old world drew on toward night,
You came; but not in splendor bright,
Not as a monarch, but the child
of Mary, blameless mother mild.

At your great Name, O Jesus, now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow:
All things on earth with one accord,
Like those in heaven, shall call you Lord.

Come in your holy might, we pray,
Redeem us for eternal day;
Defend us while we dwell below
From all assaults of our dread foe.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Praise, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally.

Text : Anonymous Latin, Ninth Century
Translation : John Mason Neale (with alterations)