• 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)

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 But the duplum, triplum and quadruplum have been replaced by a freely composed setting of the tenth century Alleluyatic Sequence (sung by sopranos and altos).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.

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.


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 Alleluia

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

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

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

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 Alleluia

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:
Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia
Allelluia, alleluia

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


All the Ends of the Earth



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