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'Ubi caritas', an antiphon taken from the Mass for Maundy Thursday, begins and ends with only the darker choral sound of the altos, tenors and basses. Each phrase of the text is repeated and the altos alternate singing them in two separate choirs. The tenors are subdivided into two voice parts in order to maintain four-part chordal harmony. After the sopranos enter for the exultant central section, the harmonic structure increases to five parts.
'Tota pulchra es' employs the texts of three antiphons from the Second Vespers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The opening text alternates as a refrain between the other two verses, forming a five-section ABACA structure. It is set in three voice parts for subdivided sopranos and undivided altos, with an occasional expansion to four female voice parts. In contrast to the strict chordal harmony of 'Ubi caritas', this motet blends contrapuntal and chordal styles.
The short text for 'Tu es Petrus' is taken from the gospel of St Matthew, as used in the final antiphon of the First Vespers for the Feast of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul. The plainchant melody is set polyphonically for all four voice parts and the music rises to its most forceful climax at the very end of the motet.
The text of 'Tantum ergo' is set polyphonically for all four voices, with the plainchant melody carried in the soprano line, and freely imitated in the tenor part. Just as the melody is repeated in the second verse of the plainchant version, the entire polyphonic setting is repeated in Duruflé’s motet version.
from notes by Carl R Cunningham © 2016
extrait des notes rédigées par Wadham Sutton © 1989
aus dem Begleittext von Wadham Sutton © 1989
Deutsch: Anke Vogelhuber
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