Another QuaranTune with a romantic connection

This week, 2nd soprano Heidi introduces Nunc Dimittis by Gustav Holst.

This is one of her favourite pieces in our current repertoire and she has fond memories of singing it with current and former members at a very special occasion.

Nunc Dimittis was written for Westminster Cathedral Choir and was first performed by them in 1915.

The words can be translated as follows:

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace.
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum. Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum.
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat, nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorem.
Amen.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen: thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

A QuaranTune that evokes memories of York Minster

Our fifth QuaranTune has been selected by former member Dan. He has chosen Os Justi by Anton Bruckner, a favourite of many members of the choir.

For Dan, it brings back special memories of both his wedding and of singing in York Minster.

Os Justi is a sacred motet that was composed in 1879. The words and translation are as follows:

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam: et lingua ejus loquetur judicium.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius: et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus. Alleluia.
Inveni David servum meum, oleo sancto meo unxi eum. Alleluia.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of his God is in his heart: and his feet do not falter. Alleluia.
I have found David, my servant; I have anointed him with my holy oil. Alleluia.

A QuaranTune with a German Connection

Second alto, Edna, introduces our fourth QuaranTune, AbenLied by Josef Rheinberger. Did hearing us sing in her native German encourage her to join us?

Abendlied (Evening song), is a sacred motet for a six-part mixed choir (SSATTB). It is regarded as Rheinberger’s best-known sacred composition, with the first version written in 1855 when he was just 15.

The original text and a translation are as follows:

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget.

Bide with us, for evening shadows darken, and the day will soon be over.

This live recording was made at Reading Town Hall in May 2015.

A surprising QuaranTune choice

This third QuaranTune has been picked by Alice, one of our first sopranos. She has chosen If Ye Love Me by English composer Thomas Tallis, despite it being a piece that only features our tenors and basses!

If Ye Love Me is a four-part setting of a passage from the Gospel of John. It was first published in 1565 during the reign of Elizabeth I. The lyrics are as follows:

If ye love me
Keep my commandments
And I will pray the Father
And he shall give you another comforter
That he may ‘bide with you forever
E’en the spirit of truth

This gorgeous recording was made live at our concert at St Clement Danes, London in January 2014.

Our second QuaranTune is a popular choice

Our second QuranTune is Soneto de la Noche by Morten Lauridsen.

Pablo Neruda’s stunning love poem provides the inspiration for this passionate second movement of Lauridsen’s song cycle, Nocturnes.

It was a popular choice, suggested by both bass Phil and soprano Helen. The video starts with them sharing their written introductions and memories of performing this beautiful piece and is followed by a translation of the Spanish words.

This recording was filmed at Santuario de la Peregrina, Sahagún during our tour to Spain in April 2018.

Current Chair Lorna shares her QuaranTune

Our first QuranTune is O Magnum Mysterium by Spanish Renaissance composer Cristobal de Morales. It is introduced by Lorna, the current Chair of the choir.

A translation of the lyrics is as follows:

O great mystery and wonderful sacrament
that even the animals saw
the new-born Lord lying in a manger.
Blessed Virgin, whose womb was worthy to bear our Lord Christ.
Lord, I heard your speech and was afraid:
I considered your works, and became frightened
as if I am between two beasts.

This recording was filmed at Santuario de la Peregrina, Sahagún during our tour to Spain in April 2018.