Nicholas O’Neill (b1970): Ave Verum Corpus – Schola Cantorum of Oxford

Nicholas ONeillNicholas O’Neill composed his setting of ‘Ave Verum’ corpus in 1994. It’s a modern setting of ‘Ave Verum Corpus ‘ a hymn originally for the feast of Corpus Christi that dates back to the 13th Century and has been set time and time again by composers ranging from Byrd to Mozart to Lizst.

O’Neill’s setting is for for eight voices and grows from a single note, slowly and gradually O’Neill paints a picture of suffering and redemption. It’s sung here by the Schola Cantorum of Oxford under their conductor Jeremy Summerly. You’ll find the mp3 file, text, and a translation to English below the fold.

Enjoy :-)


[audio:|titles=Ave verum corpus]


Ave verum corpus natum de Maria virgine:
Vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine.
Cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine.
O Jesu dulcis! O Jesu pie! O Jesu fili Mariae.

Hail true body, born of the virgin Mary:
truly you died, sacrificed on the cross for mankind.
From whose pierced flank flowed water and blood:
behold, he was tested for us in the trial of death.
Sweet Jesus! Holy Jesus! Jesus, son of Mary.

2 thoughts on “Nicholas O’Neill (b1970): Ave Verum Corpus – Schola Cantorum of Oxford

  1. Hello Mark,

    Thank you for featuring my Ave Verum Corpus. It’s not an easy work to perform (it was written as a competition entry), but the Schola Cantorum give a brilliant account of it.

    It’s only fair to say that the middle section of the work is inspired by Jonathan Harvey’s wonderful setting of Come, Holy Ghost. Harvey died very recently, and I would strongly recommend that anybody who likes my piece seek out Come, Holy Ghost and give it a listen.

    Good luck with your blog, and best wishes for a wonderful and music-filled 2013,


    • Thanks Nick,

      I agree with you about the Schola Cantorum’s singing of your piece – just brilliant.

      I hadn’t realised that Jonathan Harvey had died thanks for the sad news – he’ll be missed.

      Thanks for your good wishes – I wish you every success and happiness in 2013.


      Harvey’s setting of “Come Holy Ghost” is here:

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