Philips composed Cantabant Sancti (The Saints sing) In Festo SS. Innocentium – in honour of The Feast of the Holy Innocents which falls on December 28th and commemorates the massacre of the children by King Herod in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16–18). It’s a responsory and versicle that starts with just three voices but quickly develops into a full throated versicle that "bounces" the antiphonal singing with pleasing and strong rhythms.
Peter Philips (1560-1628): Cantabant Sancti
|R. Cantabant Sancti canticum novum ante sedem Dei et Agni: Et resonabat terra in voces eorum.||R. The Saints sang a new song before the throne of God and the Lamb, and their sound is gone out into all lands.|
|V. Hi empti sunt ex hominibus primitiæ Deo et Agno, et in ore ipsorum non est inventum mendacium.||V. These children have been ransomed from among men as first offerings to God and the Lamb, and in their mouths no falsehood has been discovered.|
Performers: Choir of Trinity College Cambridge conducted by Richard Marlow.