Required Resources: SATB choir
Inspired by the text and music of the Office chant of the same name, Bill Grabbe wrote a seasonal motet, here arranged for SATB choir, a cappella by Karl Henning.
The Latin text. Hodie Christus natus est... translates:
Today Christ is born; today the Savior appears:
today the angels sing on earth, the archangels rejoice:
today the righteous exult, saying:
"Glory to God in the highest!"
The music, while not directly quoting the Gregorian chant, still maintains a chant-like atmosphere.
Easily within a very comfortable range (e.g. sopranos and tenors sing no higher than D), the motet uses shifting meter signatures to capture the flowing quality of chant.
A very short section on the word "exsultant" employs the Medieval practice of "hocket," which breaks a long melismatic phrase into very short sections of only a few notes, with rests between.
An interesting programing note would be to sing this motet twice during Communion at Christmas Midnight Mass, with a simple, chanted Magnificat setting (perhaps Tone 8 on G) between, thus mimicking its origin as the Magnificat antiphon for Christmas Vespers.
Order #: 5038
- Choral Music
- SATB Choir
- a cappella