Required Resources: SATB choir
Colin Brumby (1933-2018), CanticaNOVA Publications' most prolific composer, died in January 2018, a great loss not only to his native Australia, but to the broader world of sacred music which so much enjoyed his approachable compositions.
He writes masterfully for the average church choir.
These five short motets are based on texts by Saint Ambrose of Milan and similar authors:
- Veni, Redemptor gentium
Advent hymn text by Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
- Jam surgit hora tertia
Text by Saint Ambrose; Passiontide or Eastrtide hymn for Terce (Mid-morning Prayer)
- Ad cenam Agni providi
6th century Ambrosian Vespers hymn for Easteride (until Ascension)
- O lux beata Trinitas
Hymn for Sunday Vespers (Evening Prayer); text attributed to Saint Ambrose
- Te lucis ante terminum
Hymn for Compline (Night Prayer); text at first attributed to Saint Ambrose, but likely of later origin
The first of these motets is the only one to require organ.
The odd verses (1,3,5,7) are sung in unison with accompaniment; the even verses (2,4,6) are set for SATB with optional organ doubling the voices.
The next two motets share a similar format: odd verses are sung in unison chant (a cappella) with an SATB setting of the even verses.
Number 3 also includes a version with English stanzas, using John Mason Neale's translation.
Number 2 has nine stanzas; Number 3 has eight stanzas in Latin and eight in English.
The last two motets set three verses in SATB hymn style.
Except for Number 3 (which already includes an English version), non-singing translations are given for the motets.
This collection is a rich way to tap into the wisdom of Saint Ambrose and his theological school of followers.
Simple means to a deep choral spirituality!