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Credo 'Opem nobis, o Thoma'

author of text

In the sublime Credo ‘Opem nobis’, both the chant scaffolding, in the lowest voice, and the two elaborative upper parts, are treated with the utmost delicacy by Power. The chant is paraphrased in long notes at the opening of each section, underpinning the texture. However, it often suddenly increases in rhythmic intensity in its brief duets with the contratenor when the upper voice rests. This texture, in alternation with duetting discantus and contratenor above a slow-moving tenor, enables Power to derive the maximum textural interest from the three voices he employs.

For this recording the text has been largely reset, using a distinctively English practice known as telescoping which may have been applied in Power’s original version. This produces, as with a polytextual motet, a counterpoint of text and voice which can enable the lengthy ritual texts of the Credo to be dispatched more succinctly than would otherwise be the case. In this instance, it allows for a more extended, melismatic character within the upper two voices which in contrast are very syllabic in their sole surviving source. Combined with Power’s skilful control of texture, this gives a greater rhetorical power to the brief sections in which only a single text is heard, the otherwise dense counterpoint of texts briefly coalescing into unified declamation.

from notes by Andrew Kirkman & Philip Weller © 2017


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


Track 9 on CDA68170 [4'33]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68170 track 9

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 9
    Release date: April 2017
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