Use: General, Festive Masses, Thanksgiving
Required Resources: SATB choir
The Te Deum is a 4th century hymn of praise, with roots perhaps earlier.
The authorship is not know with any certainty, although Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine, Saint Hilary of Poitiers, and Saint Nicetas of Remesiana have been suggested.
Liturgically, the Te Deum is recited or sung at the end of Matins (Office of Readings) on every Sunday outside Lent, and on solemnities and feasts.
In addition to its purely liturgical use, it is prayed in thanksgiving to God for a special blessing, such as the election of a pope, the consecration of a bishop, the canonization of a saint, a religious profession, the publication of a treaty of peace, a royal coronation, etc.
There is a plenary indulgence associated with its public recitation on New Year's Eve.
A master of effectively simple choral writing, Colin Brumby gives us a useful, a cappella setting of the hymn with a 16th century English text.
Throughout the work, the soprano and alto voices sing short phrases in unison, alternating with the full SATB choir.
The vocal parts are easy, yet beautifully crafted.
Ranges are quite moderate, the high voices never singing beyond an F, with alto and bass ranges extremely comfortable.
This is direct and short enough to be sung by a schola (or a quartet) at the end of Solemn Matins.
It would also work beautifully in any of the settings mentioned above, or as a festive anthem for a Mass in thanksgiving.
Order #: 5111
- Choral Music
- Ordinary Time
- SATB Choir
- a cappella