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