Tag Archives: tómas luis de victoria

Choral report: Fifth Sunday of Easter

Choir is one of the best couple of hours of my week.

This Sunday, our offertory was based on the second reading (Revelation 21:1-5a). By Edger Bainton, And I Saw a New Heaven is a beautiful piece that we have sung a number of times.

Bainton captures the text beautifully in his melodies, harmony, and dynamics.
And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea.

And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying: “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.”

During Communion, we sang Tómas Luis de Victoria’s Jesu, Dulcis Memoria. This is a personal favourite of mine and it vies for the top of the list of pieces I’d like sung at my funeral.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy Presence rest.

Choral Report: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I am reminded today of why I love to sing, and choose to sing in my parish choir.

During the offertory, we sang Byrd’s Surge Illuminare Jerusalem, normally an Epiphany motet but just as beautiful for today’s feast.

Latin: Surge, illuminare, [Jerusalem], quia venit lumen tuum, et gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebrae operient terram et caligo populos. Super te autem orietur Dominus et gloria eius in te videbitur.

English: Arise, shine [O Jerusalem]; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 

During communion, we sang Victoria’s most thrilling Jésu, dulcis memoria which is simply heavenly and possibly one of the most beautiful pieces I have sung.

Latin: Jesu dulcis memoria
Dans vera cordis gaudia:
Sed super mel et omnia
Ejus dulcis præsentia.

English: Jesus, sweet remembrance,
Granting the heart its true joys,
But above honey and all things
Is His sweet presence.

Just shut your eyes and listen.

Image: By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons