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O magnum mysterium

1572; 4vv SATB
author of text
Responsories at Matins on Christmas Day

The motet O magnum mysterium (published in 1572) has been a favourite of choirs ever since the revival of Victoria’s music eighty years ago. Although the original publication entitles it In Circuncisione Domini, its text is taken from a responsory of Christmas Matins and its use has always been as a Christmas motet. One of Victoria’s most endearing creations, it unfolds serenely, richly warm when it expresses the wonder that even the animals behold the Infant in the manger. Then a wonderful hush as Victoria musically caresses ‘O beata Virgo’. The final ‘Alleluia’ dances in triple time and then, with a welter of running notes, comes grandly to a close. The work is set for four-part choir (SATB).

from notes by Bruno Turner © 1985


Christmas Carols with The King's Singers
SIGCD683Download only Available Friday 22 October 2021
A choral tapestry
Studio Master: SIGCD283Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
O sacrum convivium
SIGCD127Download only
Sacred treasures of Christmas
Studio Master: CDA68358Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album
CSCD512Download only
Victoria: O magnum mysterium & Ascendens Christus in altum
CDA66190Last few CD copies remaining


Track 11 on SIGCD683 [3'33] Download only Available Friday 22 October 2021
Track 9 on CDA68358 [4'32]
Track 1 on CDA66190 [4'48] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 14 on CSCD512 [4'00] Download only
Track 2 on SIGCD127 [3'34] Download only
Track 5 on SIGCD283 [4'09] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD683 track 11

Recording date
20 December 2020
Recording venue
Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Nicholas Parker
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Christmas Carols with The King's Singers (SIGCD683)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: 22 October 2021
    Download only Available Friday 22 October 2021
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