Dedicated to Nicholas Kenyon
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 But the duplum, triplum and quadruplum have been replaced by a freely composed setting of the tenth century Alleluyatic Sequence (sung by sopranos and altos).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.
Programme note by 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.
THE ALLELUYATIC SEQUENCE
Cantemus cuncti melodum
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 Alleluia
Per prata paradisica
Quin et astrorum
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
Et tonitruum sonitus
Dulce consonent simul
Fluctus et undae
Imber et procellae
Tempestas et serenitas
Cauma, gelu, nix, pruinae
Saltus, nemora pangant
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
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
Celsi vertices sonent
Here let the mountain tops sing Alleluia
There let the deep valleys burst forth Alleluia
Nec non terrarum
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
Grates frequentans consonent
Hoc denique nomen audire
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
Et vos pueruli
Christ himself approves of that heavenly hymn Alleluia
Now you, brethren, joyfully sing Alleluia
And you, children, answer always Alleluia
Nunc omnes canite simul
Laus Trinitati aeternae:
Now all of you sing together to the Lord Alleluia,
to Christ Alleluia
and to the Spirit Alleluia.
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
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