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Ascendit Christus super celos / Alma redemptoris mater

author of text
Antiphons at Vespers on the Feast of the Assumption and for the Blessed Virgin Mary

Important to the careful balance of Henry’s kingship was the good order of the Church at large, and more particularly of his own household chapel, to whose musical and liturgical staffing he gave close attention. Its dignified ceremonial and the devotional stance it represented formed a crucial part of his sense of monarchy and the state under God. A contemporary chronicle stipulates the ‘discanting’ of the antiphon Ascendit Christus super celos in the second memorial after Mass in the Chapel Royal, specifically to commemorate and celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin. Since Henry V had ordered performance of a daily antiphon to the Assumption in response to his brother John Duke of Bedford’s great naval victory in the Battle of the Seine on the Feast of the Assumption, 15 August 1416, and since no other contemporary motet on Ascendit Christus survives, it is reasonable to assume that it was precisely this setting by Forest that fulfilled that need—very clearly, it could have done. Unlike many of the elaborate occasional pieces performed here, this lovely work takes the form of a gentler, more lyrical ‘anthem’ involving two voices moving as a duo above a freely rhythmicized setting in the tenor of the Marian antiphon Alma redemptoris mater.

from notes by Andrew Kirkman & Philip Weller © 2017


Music for the 100 Years' War
Studio Master: CDA68170Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 3 on CDA68170 [5'00]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68170 track 3

Recording date
9 January 2016
Recording venue
Ascot Priory, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor
Hyperion usage
  1. Music for the 100 Years' War (CDA68170)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: April 2017
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