Required Resources: 2-part choir [treble, male or mixed]
Language: English, Latin
Two famous Advent texts, one in English, one in Latin, provide the foundation for these motets set by Gregory Hamilton for two-part choir, with organ accompaniment.
Adam lay y-bounden is marked "Martial" with a peppy quarter note = 120 tempo.
The four stanzas are set to the same music:
- Adam lay y-bounden …
- And all was for an apple …
- Ne had the apple taken been …
- Blesséd be the time …
The motet ends with the two voices singing a melismatic "Deo gratias!"
This 13th century text has been set by many contemporary composers, including Benjamin Britten in his Ceremony of Carols, and is heard quite often in the Service of Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge.
The Rorate cæli setting is quite different, with Cantabile melodies hovering over a protracted organ accompaniment in whole-note chords.
Occasionally echoing one another, sometimes harmonizing, the voice parts toss the melodies off in chant-like style.
The piece ends with rhythmic Alleluias and a melismatic Amen.
Rorate cæli is the text for the Introit on the Fourth Sunday of Advent and for Masses of the BVM on Saturdays, as well as a familiar Advent chant hymn.
Effective, useful and flexible, these excellent motets can be sung by treble voices, male voices, or a mixed voice choir.