March 23, 2014

 Guercino, Samaritan woman at the well, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 1640-41
Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life [John 4:13-14]."

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes  
Third Sunday in Lent

Click to go immediately to: 

1) The Music Programme Homepage

2) The Music Calendar for Choral Eucharist, Eucharistie chantée and Evensong

3) The Concert Calendar


Gabriel Fauré, Ave verum corpus, Op. 65, No. 1, is the Communion motet for the Choral Eucharists this coming Sunday

Joos van Wassenhove, The Institution of the Eucharist, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino, 1473-75

Ave verum corpus

Ave verum corpus is a short Eucharistic hymn that has been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Popes Innocent III, Innocent IV and Innocent VI.

During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

The hymn's title means "Hail, true body", and is based on a poem deriving from a 14th-century manuscript from the Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Constance.
The poem is a meditation on the belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to ideas on the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers [adapted from Wikipedia]. 

Ave verum corpus, natum
  de Maria Virgine, [or: ex Maria Virgine]
Hail, true Body, born
 of the Virgin Mary,
vere passum, immolatum
  in cruce pro homine,
truly suffered, sacrificed
  on the cross for humankind,
cuius latus perforatum
  fluxit aqua et sanguine: [or: unda fluxit sanguine]
whose pierced side
  flowed with water and blood:
esto nobis praegustatum
  in mortis examine. [or: mortis in examine]
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
  in the trial of death.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie, O Iesu, fili Mariae.
  Miserere mei. Amen.
Oh dear Jesus, Oh merciful Jesus, Oh Jesus, son of Mary,
  have mercy on me. Amen.  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (K. 618) is perhaps the best known of all. Of the many other settings of the poem, the best known are probably those by William Byrd and Sir Edward Elgar. There is a version by Camille Saint-Saëns.  The text is even used in an opera, Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. Mozart's version, with instruments only, was adapted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as one of the sections of his Mozartiana, a tribute to Mozart. The Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sangerknaben) made some notable recordings of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus in the 20th century.

Gregorian chant

Monks of the Abbey of St. Maurice and St. Maur, Clervaux [listen]

Giovanni Vianini [YouTube]

Orlande de Lassus, Ave verum corpus, Canticum [YouTube]

William Byrd, Ave verum corpus, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips conducting [YouTube]

William Byrd, Ave verum corpus, King's Singers [YouTube]

William Byrd, Ave verum corpus, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers conducting [YouTube]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ave Verum corpus, Vienna Boys'Choir [YouTube]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ave Verum corpus, Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Leonard Bernstein conducting [YouTube]  

Charles Gounod, Ave verum corpus, performed by the Peiyang Chorus & Mao Yong [YouTube]

Francis Poulenc, Ave verum corpus, Sofia Vocal Ensemble [YouTube]

Gabriel Fauré, Ave verum corpus, Op. 65, No. 1, Cambridge Singers, John Rutter conducting; John Scott, organ [listen]

Sir Edward Elgar, Ave verum corpus, Op. 2, No. 1, Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge [YouTube]

Karl Jenkins, Ave verum corpus, sung by Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside [YouTube]

Colin Mawby, Ave verum corpus, Tewkesbury Abbey ChoirNicholas, Benjamin, conducting  [BNQ; BM(info) 

Franz Liszt composed a version for organ and choir in 1871 [Searle 44].  This had been preceded by a fantasy for piano on Mozart's Ave verum corpus, preceded by a version of Allegri's celebrated 'Miserere', under the title 'A la Chapelle Sixtine' [Searle 461 - two versions]. Versions of this fantasy for orchestra [Searle 360] and piano four-hands [Searle 633] follow closely the 2nd version for piano. There is also a version for organ [Searle 658] with the title 'Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine.'

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart) [1st version], S461, Leslie Howard, piano [CML] (info

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart) [2nd version], S461, Leslie Howard, piano [CML] (info

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart), S461Valerie Tryon, piano [BNQ; BM(info) 

Franz Liszt, Ave verum corpus, S44, for chorus and organ [ensemble not identified] [YouTube]

Franz Liszt, Ave verum corpus, S44, Stuttgart SudfunkchorRubert Huber conducting [BNQ; BM(info) 

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart), S360, Netherlands Philharmonic OrchestraHartmut Haenchen conducting. [BNQ; BM(info)

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart), S633, four hands [YouTube] (

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Olivier Vernet on 1888/2001 Rinckenbach/Aubertin organ in the church of Saint-Thiébaut in Thann, Haut-Rhin.  [YouTube: Part I - Part II]  

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Christoper Herrick, on the 1878/2000 Lewis/Harrison organ of Ripon Cathedral [CML] (info

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Martin Haselbock on the Ladegast organ of St. James Cathedral in Köthen [BNQ; BM(info)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Orchestral Suite No. 4 Op. 61 (Mozartiana) performed by The Chicago Symphony, Claudio Abbado conducting.  [listen to entire work]
Mozartiana is in four movements and lasts approximately 20 minutes.

1) Gigue. Allegro (G major)After the Little Gigue for piano, K. 574. [listen]

2) Menuet. Moderato (D major)After the Minuet for piano, K. 355.  [listen]

3) Preghiera. Andante ma non tanto (B flat major)After Franz Liszt's piano transcription of the Ave verum corpus, K. 618. (In 1862 Liszt wrote a piano transcription combining Gregorio Allegri's Miserere and Mozart's Ave verum corpus, published as "À la Chapelle Sixtine" (S.461). Tchaikovsky orchestrated only the part of this work that had been based on Mozart.)  [listen]

4) Thème et variations. Allegro giusto (G major)After the piano Variations on a Theme by Gluck, K. 455. (The theme was the aria "Unser dummer Pöbel meint", from Gluck's opera "La Rencontre imprévue, or Les Pèlerins de la Mecque").  [listen]
A recent version of this piece was recorded by the girl choristers that make up the group "All Angels"; the words set to the music from the ITV series Brideshead Revisited by Geoffrey Burgon. [YouTube]

[Information from Wikipedia.]


Two of Johannes Brahms11 Chorale preludes for organ are the postlude for this Sunday’s evensong.

Wolff Organ - Opus 20
8th Church of Christ Scientist, New York City

Among them there are two versions of the Passion Chorale: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, Op. 122, Nos 9 and 10.  

From the 1978 LP "Johannes Brahms: Eleven Chorale Preludes, Opus 122, Fugue in A flat Minor - Montrealer Bernard Lagacé performing on the Wolff Organ At the Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City." The organ was built in 1977 by Hellmuth Wolff of Montreal. [YouTube]

No. 9 performed by Bernard Lagacé  [YouTube]

No. 10 performed by Bernard Lagacé   [YouTube]

No. 9 performed by Bradley Lehman on the Beckerath organ in Emden, Germany [YouTube]

No. 10 performed by Jolanda Zwoferink  on the Great Marcussen organ of Sint-Laurenskerk, Rotterdam [YouTube]


Click to go to Bach Cantatas for Online Listening.

Cantata 54 is assigned to Oculi Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent (Oculi is the first word of the traditional introit).

Alexander Master, Jesus heals the Geresene, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1430

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Widerstehe doch der Sünde / Stand firm against sin, Cantata 54, with performances by Gardiner, Gould, Herreweghe,  Koopman, Lamon, Leonhardt, Lesne, Leusink, Scherchen, Thomas.

Click to go to Miserere for Online Listening.

 Georges Rouault, Out of the Depths, Miserere mei engraving, plate 47, 1922-27

Click to go a performance of Francesco Scarlatti: Miserere Mei, Deus, performed by the Armonico Consort, the Concerto Gallese, the English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, director Christopher Monks, Emma Kirkby soprano solo.

Click to go to Stabat Mater for Online Listening.

Cosimo Rosetti, Crucifixion

Click to go to Antonio Caldara, Stabat Mater, with performances by Clemencic, Christophers, Kollar and Rovatkay.

Click to go to  Fedele Fenaroli, Stabat Mater, with performance by the Corelli Chamber Orchestra, Vincenzo Dorindo di Crescenzo conducting.