New for 2019 on the Dale Warland series published by G. Schirmer.
Text: Hildegard of Bingen
Language: Latin, English
Ensemble: Triple Choir: SATB/SSAA/TTBB, S solo
Accompaniment: a cappella
Duration: 6.0 minutes
Page Count: 10
Catalog Number: HL 50601109 (ISBN: 9781540006899, UPC: 888680713843)
Available from G. Schirmer
“Nancy Wertsch’s stunning “Antiphon” not only has strong appeal, but is also a wonderful example of that rare combination of great craftsmanship and deep spirituality.”
— Dale Warland
Antiphon For God The Father was commissioned by the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City as a companion piece to the 40 voice Renaissance motet Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. I had always wanted to set a Latin text including its English translation as part of the piece, and to write a spatial piece involving multiple choirs spread throughout the large, reverberant space of that church. The multi-choir format afforded this opportunity, creating a surround sound effect for the audience. The piece is set for soprano soloist and three choirs, each choir with a different voicing: a women’s choir, a men’s choir, and an SATB choir. The soprano is Hildegard the mystic praying. Her words come down to the people in the various choirs, each choir in turn pondering her words in Latin and in English, until the end when all choirs sing together and there is enlightenment.
O eterne Deus, nunc tibi placeat
O eternal God, now let it please you
ut in amore illo ardeas ut membra illa simus
to burn in that love that we may be those limbs
que fecisti in eodem amore,
that you made in the same love
cum Filium tuum genuisti
when you begot your Son
in prima aurora ante omnem creaturam,
in the primal dawn before all creation,
et inspice necessitatem hanc que super nos cadit,
and look upon this need that falls upon us,
et abstrahe eam a nobis propter Filium tuum,
and take it from us for your Son's sake,
et perduc nos in leticiam salutis.
and lead us into the bliss of salvation.
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Poetic translation by Barbara Newman.
Performance groups may reprint the English translation of the text in public programs provided the copyright
acknowledgement below is included:
Lyrics Copyright © 1988 by Cornell University.
All Rights Reserved.
Used by arrangement with the publisher, Cornell University Press.