Dawn: Redeeming, Radiant (2012)

duration 4:30

"Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace..."

-Silent Night, Joseph Mohr (1816)

Dawn: Redeeming, Radiant, was commissioned by St. Olaf College to open the 2012 St. Olaf Christmas Festival. A musical dawn, the piece awakens the service from silence.

"Silent Night" provides the musical foundation for the piece. The hymn's melody is condensed to form the luminous falling line that opens and closes the work. The hymn's final melodic phrase - "sleep in heavenly peace" - is layered in a canon which rings forth in the pitched percussion and harp before being sung throughout the orchestra in a shining crescendo.


"Dawn: Redeeming, Radiant" by composer Matthew Peterson opens the 2018 St. Olaf Christmas Festival in Northfield, Minnesota. Performed by the St. Olaf Orchestra, conductor Steven Amundson. Video courtesy of St. Olaf College. Used by Permission.


commissioned by St. Olaf College for the 2012 St. Olaf Christmas Festival
premiere: St Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Christmas Festival (Northfield, MN), Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 2012
additional performances: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (2013); Goshen College, Concordia College, Maryland Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony (2014)