Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Choral Anthem Review I

Welcome to a new feature of the Christus Vincit Blog. Periodically, I will be delving into various anthems from across the choral repertoire: some standards, others not as well known. I hope this will be found useful to our readers.

Thee We Adore – T. Frederick H. Candlyn

This anthem is, of course, a choral adaptation of the Latin chant Adoro te Devote, and is a fine addition to the liturgies of Holy Thursday, and Corpus Christi.

T. Frederick H. Candlyn (1892-1964) was English by birth, and was the Choirmaster at St. Thomas – Fifth Avenue, New York City, being the immediate successor to the famous T. Tertius Noble.

Candlyn beautifully orchestrates the chant into metrical singing, and the introduction of the accompaniment is a perfect location to solo a 4’ flute over some slushy celestes. The tenors and basses begin in unison with the first verse, in unison. A brief interlude, then the sopranos take over with verse 2. After a modulation and registration change (and waking up the altos who have been asleep for the first 3 pages…), we arrive at verse three, where the chant melody is in the tenor, while the other three voices soar around it in gorgeous harmony. It is important to note that the organ accompaniment truly lets the chant have precedence: a fair portion of the anthem is a cappella; the organ provides interludes and “mini-versets”, if you will, after each phrase. For verse four, the organ modulates back to the original key, and the entire choir sings the chant in unison, save for 2 measures, and accompanied by the organ. Candlyn’s work is a true gem worthy of the repertoire of any choir that relishes and thrives on fine anthems.

Thee We Adore is published by Carl Fischer, #CM492. It has been recorded by the choirs of Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina on the album “A Land of Pure Delight”, available from ProOrgano, #CD-7173, with organist-choirmaster J. Scott Bennett conducting.

Reviewed by:
Nicholas F. Basehore, B.Mus
Director of Liturgical Music
The Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Brian Michael Page said...

Definitely a way cool new feature!

Question - text: is that the one that starts "Thee we adore, eternal Lord", based (somewhat) on the "Te Deum"? I remember a text like that set to a tune called MENDON.


Brian Michael Page said...

Scratch my question - it's "Adoro Te" - kicking myself in the gluteus maximus for not reading deeper (sty in left eye doesn't help).

My first remark still stands.

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Bri, this is the anthem that was on that mix CD i sent you.


PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

"Thee We Adore, Eternal Lord", set to MENDON, is Thomas Cotterill's adaptation of the Te Deum. Candlyn uses James Woodford's translation of Adoro Te (same translation used in the LBW, #199)


Lyn F. said...

Very cool indeed. Do we, your adoring reading public, get to suggest anthems for your review?

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

sure, I'm open to suggestions, provided it's in the cathedral library or my personal choral resource library, and it's standard/traditional choral music...no sacro-pop. Future installments will include "Draw us in the Spirit's Tether" - Friedell, "Christ the Lord is Risen Again" - Rutter, "All Hail Adored Trinity" - Sowerby, "If Ye Love Me" - Wilby... Contact me at nico_corleone321 "at" yahoo "dot" com for other suggestions.

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Of course if I don't have something, I'll order it for my personal library, or accept a donation of a copy :-)


Cantor said...

CPDL has many fine anthems and motets that are good for church choirs, often in very reasonable editions. Lots of Palestrina etc.

First shot: if you’ve got the guns, Mouton “Nesciens mater” is way sweet.

Argent said...

"If Ye Love Me" is beautiful. It was an oft-requested anthem at Requiem Masses in my old Anglo-Catholic days.

Do you know Rudolph's "Veiled in Darkness"? Great for Advent.

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...


I only discovered the Wilby last summer. Haven't used it yet. Not familiar with the Rudolph. Can you give more information??


Argent said...

Veiled in Darkness by Glenn Rudolph, words by Douglas LeTell Rights.

Veiled in darkness, Judah lay
Waiting for the promised day
While across the shadowy night
Streamed a flood of glorious light
Heavenly voices chanting then,
"Peace on earth, goodwill to men."

It starts with a soprano solo, then second verse with TTBB, 3rd verse SATB

Here's one arrangement streaming:

I don't like the humming bit with the above arrangement. I"ll see if I can dig up which arrangement we used.

Glenn Rudolph said...

Published arrangement of "Veiled In Darkness" uses organ accompaniment, which replaces humming. The a cappella arrangement was created specifically for the Pittsburgh Camerata and the humming was supposed to be "oo", but the Camerata director wouldn't concede to my wishes.


Glenn Rudolph said...

Another audio clip of the a cappella arrangement of "Veiled in Darkness"


Organ accompanied arrangement published by Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0-19-386131-3