- a cappella SATB motet in Latin
- based on familiar Advent chant
- creative refrain/verse format
The text Rorate coeli desuper (Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above) occurs frequently in the Liber usualis among the chants for the liturgies of Advent.
The familiar melody has been effectively arranged here by Calvert Shenk, Organist and Director of Music at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit MI.
The refrain which opens the work and follows each verse is set in four versions, the melody appearing consecutively in S, A, T and B voices.
The composer's talent for harmonizing modal melodies with fluidity and character is quite evident here.
While the refrain appears in four different SATB settings, the verses are heard in pristine unison, sung by a smaller group of "chanters."
The text translations for these verses touch on some of the common themes of Advent:
"Jerusalem is desolate," "We have all sinned," "Send Him who is to come," "Send forth the Lamb,"
"Comfort ye, my people," "I will save you and deliver you."
This is a fine Latin motet that allows the choir to explore both the simplicity of unison chant and the glories of four-part harmonization.
Order #: 5093
- Choral Music
- SATB Choir
- a cappella