• Repertoire

    Justorum animae

    The Offertory for the Feast of All Saints is a text from the deuterocanonical book of Wisdom: Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos tormentum mortis. Visi sunt oculis insipientium mori, illi autem sunt in pace. The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die; but they are in peace.   Composers whose setting of Justorum animae our choir has sung   Orlande de Lassus Charles Villiers Stanford

  • Repertoire

    Victoria, O sacrum convivium à 4

    This austere setting of O sacrum convivium by Tomás Luis de Victoria is scored for four voices (he also wrote one for six voices), three of which sing in roughly the same range with the fourth voice much lower. The arrangement our choir sings is for four men’s voices, although it is often transposed for higher voices. This motet is unlike most of Victoria’s music in its directness, with very little counterpoint.   Here is a performance of O sacrum convivium by La Grande Chapelle

  • Repertoire,  Texts

    O sacrum convivium

    Based on 1 Cor. 11:26 and Rom 8:18, the eucharistic text O sacrum convivium celebrates the efficacies of the Lord’s Supper and affirms the eschatological wedding feast that is anticipated in every Holy Communion service. The text is commonly attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur; recolitur memoria passionis ejus; mens impletur gratia; et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur. Alleluia! O sacred banquet, wherein Christ is received; the memorial of his passion is renewed; the soul is filled with grace; and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Alleluia! Some composers have set the English translation of this venerable text to music.   Composers whose…

  • Repertoire

    Tallis, Out from the Deep

    Psalm 130 is traditionally the sixth of seven penitential psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143). Its Latin designation (the italic title in the Book of Common Prayer) is De profundis, and the first words in English are “Out of the deep.” The figurative depth in question is one of floundering and despair, a condition caused not by external circumstances, but by a sense of the need for divine mercy and forgiveness. Psalm 130 may have been set to music more than any other Psalm, since it was long used in daily prayers in churches and monasteries, in East and West. The short setting Out from the Deep by Thomas…

  • Repertoire

    Tallis, Blessed are those that be undefiled

    This anthem by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) is a setting of Psalm 119:1-6. The translation is from the Coverdale Psalter (1535), which is the text used in the Book of Common Prayer. Blessed are those that be undefiled in the way : and walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies : and seek him with their whole heart. For they who do no wickedness : walk in his ways. Thou hast charged us O Lord : that we shall diligently keep thy commandments. O that our ways were made so direct : that we might keep thy statutes! So shall we not be confounded…

  • Repertoire

    Stewart, Psalm 23

    Charles Hylton Stewart (1884-1932) was an English organist and composer. Among his compositions are a number of Anglican chants. Here is a performance of Stewart’s setting of Psalm 23 by the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral (London)

  • Repertoire

    Stanford, Justorum animae

    Justorum animae is one of three motets by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) published in 1905 (though they were probably written more than a decade earlier). It is a setting of a text from the deuterocanonical book of Wisdom: “Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos tormentum mortis. Visi sunt oculis insipientium mori, illi autem sunt in pace.” “The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die; but they are in peace.” The text has long been used as the Offertory proper for the Feast of All Saints. Here is a performance of Stanford’s…

  • Repertoire

    Byrd, Beati mundo corde

    In 1605 and 1607, William Byrd published two collections of motets which included the famed Communion motet Ave verum corpus (sung frequently by our choir) and the little-known setting of a Latin text from the final verses of the Beatitudes, Beati mundo corde. Beati mundo corde quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Beati pacifici quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur. Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This text is…