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Verbum caro

author of text
John 1: 14, 3; Responsory for Christmas Day

The responsories Verbum caro factum est and Videntes stellam magi, composed for Christmas Day and Epiphany respectively, are both scored for twelve voices. They follow a similar pattern, making much of antiphonal effects between the three choirs, and contrasted with thrilling tutti passages. In both pieces, a harp is specified as continuo instrument for the first choir, and some parts are untexted in the original, suggesting instrumental participation. The construction of the three magnificent organs in the Basilica at El Escorial was completed in 1590, and perhaps these grand triple-choir pieces may have featured all three instruments. Both works share a similar layout: Choir 1 begins with a rather gentle statement in slow notes, then Choirs 2 and 3 enter with more lively material. Thereafter, short phrases are exchanged in rhythmical, chordal blocks—a technique that was to continue to develop in 17th-century Spanish music.

from notes by Philip Cave © 2010


Rogier: Missa Ego sum qui sum & Motets


Track 12 on CDA67807 [7'20]

Track-specific metadata for CDA67807 track 12

Recording date
3 May 2009
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Matthew O'Donovan
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Rogier: Missa Ego sum qui sum & Motets (CDA67807)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: April 2010
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