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O nata lux de lumine

- Thomas Tallis, ed. David Boothe


PDF Sample

Use: General, Evening
Required Resources: SATB choir
Language: Latin

The Latin motet O nata lux de lumine was published jointly by Tallis and his former pupil, William Byrd, in their 1575 Cantiones sacrae. The text comes from a 10th century Office Hymn for Lauds (Morning Prayer) on the Feast of the Transfiguration. A translation:

O Light born of Light, Jesus, Redeemer of the world,
with loving-kindness deign to receive suppliant praise and prayer.
Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh for the sake of the lost,
grant us to be members of thy blessed body.

The Tallis original is scored for SATTB choir, but having men divisible by three, and further, tenors divided in half, is a luxury not too many choirs enjoy. David Boothe has arranged this 16th century gem for SATB a cappella choir, with no loss of harmonic richness. The quintessenially British sonority, metrical shifts and odd harmonic trajectories (including cross-relations) make this an exciting piece to sing and to hear.

The score, as usual, provides a vocal reduction, which can certainly be played on quiet organ if the choir needs such assistance.

Obviously appropriate for the Feast of the Transfiguration (which replaces the Sunday should August 6 fall thusly), the lack of culminating "Alleluias" make the work useful also on the Second Sunday of Lent each year, when the Gospel of the Transfiguration is always read.


Order #: 7072
Price: $1.35


- Treasury Series
- Ordinary Time
- SATB Choir
- Latin
- a cappella

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