Required Resources: SATB choir, organ
Attende Domine is one of the most famous Lenten chant hymns.
Its Latin has roots in the 10th century and one of the popular English translations reads: "Draw near, O Lord, our God, graciously hear us; guilty of sinning before Thee."
The composer has arranged this for SATB choir and organ, with optional congregation on the refrain.
This format makes it ideal as a Communion processional, since the people can sing the familiar refrain without music, the choir and organ supplying the verses.
Verse textures are varied:
- Verse 1– Unison sopranos, other voices entering in unison, and breaking into harmony on the last two measures
- Verse 2– Unison altos, tenor and bass entering in unison, and breaking into harmony on the last two measures
- Verse 3– Melody in unison TB line, with S and A adding harmonies above
- Verse 4– Melody in unison SA line, with T and B adding harmonies below
- Verse 5– Unison beginning, breaking into four parts in the third measure
Refrain II, sung after Verses 3, 4 and 5, adds a soprano descant over choral harmonies.
A choral Amen, sung after the final refrain, brings the piece to a close.
The chant melody sounds like D Major to our modern ears, but Koraus deftly peppers his choral harmonies with C-natural, introducing a welcome modal flavor (Dorian, in this case) to the work.
His writing shows a beautifully modern take on chant, very reminiscent of Maurice Duruflé.
Matthew Koraus is Director of Music Ministries for the Church of Saint Patrick in Huntington, New York, and an award-winning Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.
Order #: 4207
- Choral Music
- SATB Choir