• Judith Weir
  • All the Ends of the Earth (1999)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Dedicated to Nicholas Kenyon

  • 3perc.hp
  • SATB
  • 12 min
  • Viderunt Omnes (after Perotin)
    • 26th November 2021, Motorwerk, Berlin, Germany
    View all

Programme Note

ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH is a choral motet written for a EBU Millennium Day broadcast. It is based on Perotin's organum Viderunt Omnes.

In this composition, the pitches and proportions of Perotin's cantus firmus and its text have been retained exactly (rescored, however, and sung by tenors and basses). But the duplum, triplum and quadruplum have been replaced by a freely composed setting of the tenth century Alleluyatic Sequence (sung by sopranos and altos).

The Alleluyatic Sequence, based on Psalm 148, was written for the week before Septuagesima, after which the singing of Alleluia was banned in western Europe until Easter.

In addition, a small instrumental ensemble of harp and percussion has been added to embellish the cantus firmus, and to mark punctuation points in the composition.

The duration of the piece is around ten minutes. The voices divide as follows:

SOPRANO; soli, in 1, 2, 3 and 4 parts; then
tutti, in 1, 2, 3 and 4 parts
ALTO; soli, in 1, 2, 3 and 4 parts; then
tutti, in 1, 2, 3 and 4 parts
TENOR; tutti in 2 parts

BASS tutti in 2 parts

ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH was commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Singers, who first performed it on 28 September 1999
in Westminster Cathedral, conducted by Stephen Cleobury,
as part of 'Sounding the Millennium'.
It is dedicated to Nicholas Kenyon.

© Judith Weir


Viderunt omnes fines terrae salutare Dei nostri
Jubilate Deo omnis terra
Notum fecit Dominus salutare suum:
ante conspectum gentium revelavit justitiam suum

All the ends of the earth
have seen the salvation of our God.
Rejoice in the Lord, the whole earth.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
He has shown his righteousness in the sight
of the people


Cantemus cuncti melodum
Nunc Alleluia

In laudibus aeterni regis
Haec plebs resultat

Hoc denique Caelestes chori
Cantant in altum
Let us now sing the melody of Alleluia
In praise of the eternal king let this assembly
resound Alleluia
Then let the heavenly choirs on high sing

Hoc beatorum
Per prata paradisica
Psallat concentus

Quin et astrorum
Micantia luminaria
Jubilant altum
Let the company of the blessed in the fields of
paradise sing Alleluia
Yea, let the glittering shining lamps of the
stars raise their high Alleluia

Nubium cursus
Ventorum volatus
Fulgurum coruscatio
Et tonitruum sonitus
Dulce consonent simul

Fluctus et undae
Imber et procellae
Tempestas et serenitas
Cauma, gelu, nix, pruinae
Saltus, nemora pangant Alleluia
Let the clouds as they sweep, the winds as they
fly, the lightnings as they flash, and the
thunders as they roll utter in harmony their
sweet Alleluia
Let the floods and billows, rain and storms,
tempests and calm, heat, ice, snow, frosts,
woods and forests strike up Alleluia

Hinc, variae volucres
Laudibus concinite cum

Ast illinc respondeant
Voces altae
Diversarium bestiarum
Alleluia Ye many-coloured birds, hymn the creator
with your praises and your Alleluia
With them let the high voices of the divers
beasts answer Alleluia

Istinc montium
Celsi vertices sonent

Illinc vallium
Profunditates saltent
Alleluia Here let the mountain tops sing Alleluia
There let the deep valleys burst forth Alleluia

Nec non terrarum
Molis immensitates:

Nunc omne genus
Humanum laudans exsultet
Let the vast continents too sing Alleluia
Now let the whole human race burst into
praise and shout Alleluia

Et creatori
Grates frequentans consonent

Hoc denique nomen audire
Jugitur delectatur
Let it repeatedly pour forth thanks to the
creator, Alleluia
For he delights in hearing the perpetual
sound of Alleluia

Hoc etiam carmen caeleste
Comprobat ipse Christus

Nunc vos o socii
Cantate laetantes

Et vos pueruli
Respondete semper
Christ himself approves of that heavenly hymn
Now you, brethren, joyfully sing Alleluia
And you, children, answer always Alleluia

Nunc omnes canite simul
Alleluia Domino
Alleluia Christo
Pneumatique Alleluia

Laus Trinitati aeternae:
Now all of you sing together to the Lord,
Alleluia, to Christ Alleluia and to the Spirit
Praise be to the eternal Trinity; Alleluia

[Translation from the Penguin Book of Latin Verse. Not all of the above text has been set to music].

© Judith Weir


All the Ends of the Earth