Use: Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time
Required Resources: SAB choir, organ
Language: Latin and English
Two sets of Hymn Trilogies by Harry McMurray are published in our catalog.
Volume I sets three carols for the Christmas Cycle (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany).
Volume II deals with Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time.
The hymns represented are:
- Audi benigne Conditor [O kind Creator, bow thine ear]
- Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
- Lucis Creator optime [O blessed Creator of the light]
The first is a Lenten Vesper hymn, which the composer sets for unison, two-part or SAB voices on various stanzas, all a cappella.
The Medieval flavor is apparent, as the voices move sometimes in unison, sometimes in parallel organum (fifths), and sometimes in independent polyphony.
A Latin text and a singable English translation are given for the five verses.
The second hymn is an arrangement of the tune Orientis partibus.
Various textures in the voices are supported by a light organ accompaniment.
The six verses modulate from F to Bb to G to A before returning to F and a concluding "Alleluia" section, with a diminuendo and an a cappella ending.
The third selection is a setting of the chant hymn for Sunday Vespers, Lucis Creator optime.
The work expands in complexity, beginning with the first chant verse accompanied by parallel fifths in the organ left hand part (perhaps using the Krummhorn stop).
The second verse adds an elongated counter-melody in the men's voices, with the parallel fifth motion moving to the right hand accompaniment.
This pattern is repeated with verses three and four.
Verse five adds a descant part above the other two voice lines.
The SAB parts are not difficult in this trilogy, and the composer does a masterful job of recreating the sounds of the Middle Ages in this very accessible collection.