Latin Motets of Schütz & Sweelinck
  • Both of these composers wrote a considerable number of Latin motets, many (most?) of which are available on CPDL. Does anyone here have recommendations for an SATB choir of average ability, of appropriate length for supplementary offertory or communion music at an EF Mass? There's lots to explore and I was wondering if any of you already have experience with this repertory.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,668
    All of the Sweelinck motets I've done in the past have been for at least 5 voices if memory serves.
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 219
    Yes, Matthew is right, the Cantiones Sacrae are all for five voices, though some of the longer ones have sections of three (and possibly four?) voices, perhaps for soloists or a smaller group. These are fairly difficult pieces for an average choir. For those who don't know, they are a fascinating collection historically, being an obviously Catholic repertoire written at the end of Sweelinck's life, when he had for years been faithfully serving the Calvinists.

    Some of the French motets are for four voices; obviously they wouldn't be an option for EF.

    Between the two, Schutz would be a better option, though I am a Sweelinck partisan myself. I hardly know Schutz at all, but I'm fascinated that he has set text from St. Augustine. Glancing through some of these Schutz scores, they seem quite poignant and you've piqued my interest. I'm not sure what you consider to be "average ability," but your best bet is probably just to sift through them.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    Also check out Gallus/Handl's smaller-scale things, as they are similar in style.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 145
    My choir has been working on the Sweeklinck Venite for the last couple of months. It's SSATB. Not an easy piece, but I think it will be a lot of fun when it is finally done.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • CGM
    Posts: 525
    The Schütz Cantate Domino is a really fun piece. Take a look here. It's long, but it's dancy and light and quick. You could stop after m. 56 (the end of the second system of p. 3 of the linked edition), and use that cadence as a spot to perhaps "sectionalize" the piece into a prima pars (mm. 1-56) and a secunda pars (mm. 57-end). That first section may be enough for your needs.

    While the piece was intended for continuo accompaniment, I've found that it also works well a cappella.
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